Rishi Sunak prepares to fight courts with plan to bar migrants who illegally crossed Channel in small boars from appealing deportation
- Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wants to keep his anti-Channel promise
- Channel migrants will be barred from legal recourse against deportation
Ministers are drawing up plans to prevent Channel migrants from filing legal challenges against deportation.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has previously explained how the government intends to automatically ban migrants from seeking asylum as part of its commitment to “stop the boats”.
But additional measures are being drafted to deprive migrants of the ability to launch judicial reviews or appeals.
Two separate sets of proposals are being drawn up, the Times reported, which risk pitting ministers against each other in a major battle with the courts.
The first – and most radical – option would prevent all small boat migrants from submitting a judicial review of their exclusion from the asylum system.
Rishi Sunak has vowed to deprive Channel migrants arriving in the UK on small boats of their right to seek judicial review to protect them from automatic deportation
The government says that by removing the ability to stay in the UK for migrants, making the perilous journey across the Channel would be much less attractive
The second proposal would only allow legal challenges to be filed once the migrant has been deported from the UK, a procedure known as ‘overseas appeals’.
The proposals are still being finalized by Home Secretary Suella Braverman and the Prime Minister, but they are likely to be included in a landmark package – possibly later this month.
A government source said: ‘The Prime Minister and Home Secretary are working hard to introduce the legislation as soon as possible and ensure it is legally watertight.
So-called ‘abroad’ appeals, also known as ‘non-suspensive’ appeals, have been widely used in the asylum system for over 25 years.
In 1996, legislation established that asylum seekers from “safe third countries” could only appeal from abroad against the Home Office’s decision to reject their application.
A broad expansion of the same principle is likely to meet opposition from the House of Lords, judges and the human rights industry, as it would cover all nationalities arriving by small boat, even if their country of origin is not considered “safe”.
The government’s Rwandan asylum scheme – if finally ruled legal by top judges later this year – could play a part in the jigsaw of new measures.
For example, arrivals from the English Channel who come from dangerous countries could be sent to Rwanda and appeal from there.
Yesterday the Mail reported how Mr Sunak said the new legislation will ensure those who have come here illegally ‘cannot stay’ and the ‘vast majority’ who cross the Channel will be deported.
He previously promised the government would ‘stop the boats’ as one of its five key pledges to voters, after last year saw a record 45,756 arrivals from northern France.
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘The unacceptable number of people risking their lives making these dangerous crossings is putting unprecedented pressure on our asylum system’
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘The unacceptable number of people risking their lives making these dangerous crossings is putting unprecedented pressure on our asylum system.
“Our priority is to stop this and prevent these illegal smugglers, and our new Small Boat Operational Command – bolstered by hundreds of additional staff – is working hard to disrupt the smugglers’ business model.
“We are also going further by introducing legislation which will ensure that people arriving illegally in the UK will be detained and returned quickly to their country of origin or to a safe third country.”