Rishi Sunak vows to clear immigration backlog – but avoids questions about leaving European Convention on Human Rights | Politics news | Daily News Byte


Rishi Sunak has repeatedly refused to say whether the UK would have to leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to turn away asylum seekers arriving illegally.

Making his first appearance at the Commons Liaison Committee, the Prime Minister was asked by the SNP’s Joanna Cheary whether the UK would have to derogate from the ECHR to fulfill his proposals to curb immigration.

“You will see the legislation next year and no doubt we will have an opportunity to discuss it then but I don’t want to speculate on that now,” he said.

Mr. Sunak said he welcomed the High Court’s judgment on Monday that the government’s policy Removal of asylum seekers in Rwanda is legal.

He told MPs he believed the plans would help tackle the problem of small boats crossing the Channel.

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But the PM refused to draw on whether the government’s Rwanda policy would require changes to the UK’s commitment to the Human Rights Act or the ECHR.

Both Home Secretary Suella Braverman And Justice Secretary Dominic Raab have said that the government may have to consider withdrawing from the ECHR in order to proceed successfully with the government’s plans.

“We anticipate further legal challenge. We will continue to pursue it as necessary,” he said.

“I believe that the Rwanda plan represents an important part of our plan to combat illegal migration and stop small boats. It is not the only part of it but it is an important part of it. That is why I welcome the court’s decision yesterday.

“We will introduce legislation in the new year that will achieve the goal I set out. I am confident that we can deliver on that plan and it will make a difference and reduce the number of boats coming in.”

On Monday, Lord Justice Lewis said in his ruling that the controversial policy introduced under Boris Johnson was “consistent with the Refugee Convention”.

However, he said the home secretary should look at people’s “particular circumstances” before deporting them to the central African country.

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Braverman defends the Rwandan plan

Speaking in the Commons after the ruling, the Home Secretary said Rwanda’s policy was a “humane” and “practical option” for people who come to the UK through “dangerous, illegal and unnecessary routes”.

“Relocation to Rwanda is not a punishment, but an innovative way to address the larger problem of redressing the imbalance between illegal and legal migration routes,” she told MPs.

The government announced its Rwanda policy in Aprilwhich will see some asylum seekers who arrived in the UK via small boat Channel crossings sent to the country to process their cases.

Ms Patel said it would help prevent people from making the dangerous journey, but human rights campaigners, charities and opposition parties slammed the plan as inhumane.

PM avoids facing questions on immigration

The Prime Minister avoided directly answering questions about immigration.

Diana Johnson asked how many small boat crossings she expected next year, whether anyone would wait more than 6 months for an asylum claim and how many would be sent to Rwanda, but the Prime Minister would not set specific targets, saying the issues “could happen overnight.” will not be resolved.

While yesterday’s court ruling that the Rwanda plan is legal was a victory for the government, the plan depends on swift action to be effective.

The Home Office is potentially being dragged to court in every Rwandan deportation case, making it difficult for the policy to act as a deterrent.

Rishi Sunak knows it’s an issue that resonates with many voters and Tory MPs, which he says is a personal priority.

He pledged last week to “eliminate” the immigration backlog, something his predecessors had tried and failed to do.

The PM may not be setting a target for himself today, but the pictures of the small boat reaching the Kent coast will speak for themselves.

The first flight was scheduled to take off in June With four people on board, but a number of legal challenges and the European Court of Human Rights ruling the plan posed a “real risk of irreversible harm”, it was halted.

However, both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss insisted that they will go ahead with the policy when they take the keys to No.10.

Meanwhile, the PM also told the Commons Liaison Committee that he was committed to eradicating the backlog of 92,000 asylum claims – as it stood at the end of June 2022 – by the end of the year.

However, the current backlog is 117,00.

“I think it will represent the most significant reduction in the backlog that we’ve seen. I would absolutely love if we could go further,” he said.


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