The government will use a postponement strategy if the European Court of Human Rights tries to block the immigration bill preventing small boats from crossing the Channel
The government plans to fight any challenge from the European Court of Human Rights which would try to block the Prime Minister’s new immigration bill banning small boats from crossing the Channel.
Ministers are developing a delay strategy to appeal any court rulings against the UK and to implement the policy anyway during any legal proceedings.
This could help the government avoid abandoning the ECHR in its entirety.
According to reports, government ministers believe that even if a final decision is made against the UK for the application of the legislation, they are unlikely to be bound to implement the judgment immediately and could ignore it for several years.
Indeed, figures suggest that around 40% of major judgments over EU states handed down over the past decade had yet to be acted upon, sources in Whitehall told The Times.
The government plans to fight any challenge from the European Court of Human Rights which would try to block the Prime Minister’s new immigration bill (pictured at PMQs yesterday) banning small boats from crossing the Channel
A group landed in Dover after crossing the English Channel earlier this week
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the government “very strongly views our proposals as legal”, when speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
And Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “ready to fight” with the ECHR in Strasbourg.
Ms Braverman has however admit to MEPs that there is “more (than) 50% chance” that the legislation is not compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
The new legislation gives ministers the power to override any decision taken against government plans to detain and deport all migrants arriving in the UK on small boats. Therefore, even if a case was filed with the ECHR, the government could still move forward with the plan as the case is heard – which can take three years.
A government source told The Times that they don’t want to ‘trigger an all-out showdown with the court’, but rather ‘the plan is to implement the policy while this process unfolds’.
Announcing the plans in the Commons on Tuesday, Ms Braverman said asylum seekers arriving illegally will be held without bail or judicial review for 28 days before being ‘promptly deported’ to their home country or a ‘safe third country’ like Rwanda.
They face a lifetime ban on returning once deported and will never be allowed to settle in the country or obtain citizenship.
The feasibility of the bill has been questioned as plans such as forcibly returning asylum seekers to Rwanda are mired in legal challenges.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman (pictured) said the government ‘very strongly regards our proposals as legal’, when speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
French President Emmanuel Macron has called for increased funding from the UK to stop Channel crossings
It comes ahead of an Anglo-French summit in Paris tomorrow between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Mr Macron, where Channel migrants will be high on the agenda.
It is the first bilateral summit between France and Britain for five years and the two sides are seeking to restore relations after deadly rows over Channel migrants, post-Brexit trade deals and the agreement on the Aukus submarine with Australia.
And French President Emmanuel Macron has called for increased funding from the UK to stop Channel crossings.
London and Paris are in talks over a longer-term, multimillion-pound deal to boost patrols, surveillance and officers on French beaches to crush trafficking gangs.
Elysee sources say the two sides are trying to find a “multi-year funding framework” that would put cooperation on a stable footing and allow “better planning of our actions”.