Priti Patel WILL challenge European ruling that halted Rwanda flight by filing submissions to Strasbourg ‘imminently’, court hears
- The Home Secretary is poised to make a formal challenge to the ECHR
- Official submissions will be made to Strasbourg-based court ‘imminently’
- The inaugural flight had to be called off within half an hour of take-off
The Home Secretary is poised to make a formal challenge to the European Court of Human Rights, opening up the prospect of another attempt at sending Channel migrants on a one-way trip to Africa.
Her lawyers told judges at the High Court yesterday that official submissions will be made to Strasbourg ‘imminently’. Miss Patel will also ‘resist’ any further attempts by Strasbourg to block future removals, the court heard.
Last Tuesday the inaugural flight had to be called off within half an hour of take-off after lawyers for three migrants obtained injunctions from the human rights court, called ‘Rule 39 indications’.
Jack Anderson, for the Home Secretary, told the High Court in written submissions: ‘The defendant will resist any further application for a Rule 39 indication and the UK will be applying to the European Court of Human Rights to reconsider the Rule 39 indication on an urgent basis.
The grounded Rwanda deportation flight EC-LZO Boeing 767 at Boscombe Down Air Base, on June 14, 2022 in Boscombe Down near Amesbury, Wiltshire
‘The UK has informed the ECHR that it intends to submit representations imminently, and the ECHR has informed the UK that such representations will be considered as a matter of urgency and a response will be received within a few days.’
A Home Office source said: ‘We are going to ask the Strasbourg judges to think again. We will present comprehensive evidence based on what was heard in the British courts. This is important because the Home Office did not have a chance to make full arguments on the night of last week’s flight.
‘We remain unsure of the chances of success, but we are trying our hardest.’
The developments open up the prospect of the Home Office resuming charter flights to Rwanda, potentially within days.
It was previously thought the flights were unlikely to resume until British judges had considered a full judicial review of the Rwanda policy, which was not expected to finish until the end of July.
Mr Anderson disclosed that separate injunctions granted by the UK Court of Appeal last Tuesday night, which blocked the removal of a further two migrants, are also being challenged.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab had already confirmed that measures in the new Bill of Rights, due to be published this week, will make it clear that injunctions granted by the Strasbourg court have no legal force.
Priti Patel will bid to quash the decision by European judges which led to the first Rwanda asylum flight being axed at the last moment, it emerged last night
The Home Office’s legal challenges emerged as part of a separate High Court claim brought by other migrants at risk of being sent to Rwanda.
Mr Justice Swift denied bail to three asylum-seekers and paused other aspects of the claims until after the judicial review. An initial case management hearing for the judicial review of the policy is due to be held tomorrow.
In the Commons, Home Office minister Tom Pursglove refused to rule out trying to send another flight to Rwanda before the outcome of the judicial review after being challenged by the SNP.
The number of Channel migrants to reach the UK this year has reached 11,643, after more than 300 arrivals on Saturday. At the same point last year, the figure was 5,249.