Tough new plans to solve the migrant crisis will be hijacked by a “left-wing” plot to tie the UK in “legal knots”, Tory MPs have warned. They hit out as Rishi Sunak said he is “up for the fight” with legions of lawyers poised to challenge the scheme.
The Prime Minister said he is confident the government will win any legal opposition to the plan.
Suella Braverman has admitted that legislation to tackle small boat crossings in the Channel is likely to fall foul of the European Convention on Human Rights.
But she said the Immigration Bill does not breach international law and hoped the courts would take into account any endorsement Parliament gave to her “robust and novel” plans.
If the action was stalled by legal challenges, it would follow the much-criticised plan to remove asylum seekers to Rwanda in being currently grounded by the courts.
In a letter to MPs and peers Ms Braverman said she had had to make a statement under the Human Rights Act, which enshrined the convention rights in the UK.
“This does not mean that the provisions in the Bill are incompatible with the convention rights, only that there is a more (than) 50 percent chance that they may not be,” she wrote.
“We are testing the limits but remain confident that this Bill is compatible with international law.”
Writing in the Daily Express, Conservative Party deputy chairman Lee Anderson said “real people” want to solve the migrant crisis not those “talking about it on BBC studio sofas” and “left-wing so-called charities and campaigners”.
He said the crackdown, which will see the deportation of tens of thousands of people who enter the UK illegally, will be opposed by Labour at every turn.
“You’ll see Labour do their usual thing with this,” he said.
“Slippery Starmer has refused to even mention migration. Starmer’s cosy relationship with his human rights lawyer pals has led to court case after court case trying to stop us deporting violent criminals and relocating those with no right to be here to Rwanda.”
Tory backbencher Mark Francois warned that legal challenges and European meddling will be the biggest challenge to getting the plan to work.
He told the Commons: “Unless we can somehow face them down, we will remain tied up in legal knots in our own domestic courts and, ultimately, in Strasbourg.”
In fiery Commons clashes Ms Braverman lashed out at “naive” Labour MP Diane Abbott who said she deplored the plan for “seeking to smear migrants as a whole as criminals and rapists.”
The Home Secretary said it is “wrong and frankly naive and inflammatory to conflate people who come here legitimately abiding by our laws and come here on a legal basis, and those who are coming here breaking our laws illegally and putting themselves and others at risk”.
The Bill comes as Britain’s asylum backlog has ballooned to more than 160,000.
Since 2018 some 85,000 migrants have made the dangerous channel crossing.
And over the last two years, there’s been a 500 percent increase in small boats.
It costs taxpayers an eye-watering £3 billion each year.