Priti Patel defends Rwanda plan during speech in Parliament
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The GB News presenter’s demand for the UK to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) comes after an 11th-hour ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) halted the departure of the first flight under the Government’s controversial policy of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Mr Farage tweeted: “Left-wing lawyers now dictate our immigration policy. Time to leave the ECHR and finally complete Brexit.”
The former MEP’s call comes as Downing Street today said it was not ruling out exiting the ECHR.
Asked if the Government could withdraw from the convention, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We are keeping all options on the table including any further legal reforms that may be necessary.
“We will look at all of the legislation and processes in this round.”
The ECtHR rules on issues relating to the convention and is not an EU institution, so its influence has not been affected by Brexit.
Three of the asylum seekers set to be on the first flight to Rwanda on Tuesday night had their removal blocked by the ECtHR.
Three others were granted injunctions by the Supreme Court preventing their immediate removal.
Mr Farage’s call to leave the ECHR was echoed by fellow Brexiteer Richard Tice.
The Reform UK leader said: “Rwanda deportation blocked by European Court of Human Rights – helpful as proves we must withdraw from ECHR, replace with domestic equivalent.
“As a sovereign nation, with a proud human rights record, don’t need foreign political court telling us what to do.”
A series of Tory MPs have also demanded that Britain withdraws from the convention.
However, the move risks damaging the UK’s reputation on the world stage.
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Attorney General Suella Braverman said many people would be frustrated at the role played by a “foreign court”.
Pressed on whether withdrawing from the ECHR was a possibility, she told the BBC’s World At One programme: “We’re not ruling anything in and we’re not ruling anything out.
“We are definitely open to assessing all options available as to what our relationship should be going forward with the ECtHR.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel today insisted the Government will press ahead with its plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
She said she was surprised by the Strasbourg court’s intervention, overruling domestic judicial decisions.
But Ms Patel told MPs it was “inevitable” there would be legal challenges to the Government’s policy.
In an apparent reference to the human rights lawyers who have repeatedly taken on the Government, she told MPs that “the usual suspects” had set out to “thwart” the plan.
But she added: “This Government will not be deterred from doing the right thing.
“We will not be put off by the inevitable legal last-minute challenges.
“Nor will we allow mobs to block removals.”
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