Saturday, 24 February 2024

Cameron's Warning: Firm Stance Against Judges Opposing Rwanda Plan Could Be Imminent

Cameron's Warning: Firm Stance Against Judges Opposing Rwanda Plan Could Be Imminent
Tuesday, 21 November 2023 06:31

"Lord Cameron Issues Warning: Firm Stance Against European Human Rights Judges Blocking Rwanda Plan"

Lord Cameron, the Foreign Secretary, has issued a stern warning, declaring his intent to take a tough stance against European human rights judges who might obstruct the government's Rwanda plan. In a bid to alleviate concerns among Tory MPs, he emphasized his commitment to challenging the controversial European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). During a session with the 1922 backbench committee of MPs, sources revealed that Lord Cameron stressed the importance of advancing Rishi Sunak's emergency legislation and a new treaty, signaling a willingness to confront Strasbourg if necessary.

Drawing on his personal experience, Lord Cameron highlighted his previous battles with the ECHR, particularly regarding stripping prisoners of voting rights—an issue he defiantly confronted during his tenure as Prime Minister. He made it clear that he understood the imperative to curtail the powers of the ECHR. Despite suggestions to the contrary by his former chancellor George Osborne, Lord Cameron firmly rejected the notion that leaving the ECHR was off the table.

Rishi Sunak, supporting the tough stance, expressed his commitment to doing "whatever is necessary" to facilitate migrant deportation flights to Rwanda, even considering opting out of human rights laws. The Prime Minister echoed this sentiment, vowing not to let a "foreign court" impede migrant removal from the UK and aiming to end the legal obstacles that have stalled Rwanda flights since the previous summer.

In response to the Supreme Court's recent ruling that the Rwanda policy was unlawful due to safety concerns for asylum seekers, the government is pursuing emergency legislation and a new treaty to designate Rwanda as a safe destination. Simultaneously, additional options are under consideration to restrict the ability of illegal migrants to block their deportations. These options include disapplying the Human Rights Act in asylum claims and removing the right of judicial review, incorporating "notwithstanding" clauses to empower ministers to disregard the European Convention on Human Rights without exiting the treaty. The government's resolute approach to the Rwanda plan underscores its determination to navigate legal challenges and enforce its policies.

"Immigration Minister Advocates Dual Approach to Emergency Legislation for Rwanda Plan"

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick is pushing for a comprehensive strategy in the emergency legislation for the Rwanda plan. Described as a "belt and braces" approach, this strategy aims to prevent legal challenges against the policy as a whole while allowing individuals to bring cases against their deportation. At least half a dozen Cabinet ministers are believed to support this approach, potentially leading to a division within the Cabinet.

James Cleverly, the Home Secretary, has previously expressed opposition to leaving the convention and indicated last week that he did not see quitting human rights laws as necessary for realizing the Rwanda plan. Victoria Prentis, the Attorney General and a strong supporter of the convention, has signaled that she would not oppose opting out of human rights laws on ideological grounds. However, her concerns revolve around the practical implications, fearing that significant carve-outs from human rights legislation could impede the legislation's progress in the House of Lords or cause substantial delays.

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk, another staunch supporter of the European Convention on Human Rights, is reportedly inclined toward legislation that delivers the policy without being constrained by "high ideals," awaiting clarity on the legislation's form.

Addressing the situation, Chancellor Rishi Sunak reaffirmed his commitment to overcoming legal challenges and ensuring the implementation of the Rwanda plan. He highlighted the government's preparation for various circumstances, emphasizing the development of a new treaty with Rwanda to address concerns raised by the Supreme Court. Sunak outlined plans for emergency legislation that would make it unequivocally clear, providing Parliament with the opportunity to confirm that Rwanda is deemed safe for the intended purposes of the scheme.

Asserting determination, Sunak emphasized, "I won't let a foreign court stop us from getting flights off to Rwanda," citing the need to end the prolonged legal challenges and demonstrating the government's commitment to moving forward with the plan.

In conclusion, the complexities surrounding the government's Rwanda plan have revealed a potential division within the Cabinet, with differing perspectives on the approach to emergency legislation. Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick advocates a dual strategy, aiming to shield the policy from legal challenges while allowing individual deportations to be contested. This proposal has garnered support from several Cabinet ministers, setting the stage for internal debates.

Key figures like Home Secretary James Cleverly, who opposes leaving the convention, and Attorney General Victoria Prentis, a convention supporter concerned about practical implications, reflect the diverse viewpoints within the government. Justice Secretary Alex Chalk awaits clarity on the legislation's form, emphasizing pragmatism over ideological ideals.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, in his unwavering commitment, outlines plans for a comprehensive solution involving a new treaty with Rwanda and emergency legislation to unequivocally declare Rwanda as a safe destination. He asserts that legal challenges will not deter the government's determination to implement the plan and end the prolonged legal obstacles.

As the government navigates these intricate debates and varying perspectives, the conclusion remains uncertain. The ongoing discussions highlight the intricate balancing act required to address legal concerns, uphold human rights, and execute the Rwanda plan in a manner acceptable to all stakeholders.


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