PM under pressure to warn Euro judges that UK will quit ECHR unless reforms made

Rishi Sunak is under growing pressure to warn European judges that Britain will quit the ECHR unless they commit to major reforms.

Tory MPs want the Prime Minister to use his speech at the Conservative Party conference to address their growing concerns about the role of the Strasbourg court.

Such a move would heap pressure on the European Court of Human Rights to stop intervening in domestic policy decisions.

The ECHR thwarted the Government’s first deportation flight to Rwanda at the 11th hour last June, hindering attempts to end the Channel migrant crisis.

The Home Office will next month argue, at the Supreme Court, that the flagship scheme is legal. Officials hope the first flights to Kigali could take off early next year.

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Former Brexit minister David Jones told the Daily Express: “The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the UN Refugee Convention were both made over 70 years ago. It was a different age, long before organised criminals started engaging in the loathsome business of people trafficking.

“Tony Blair incorporated the ECHR into domestic British law, making it difficult to take the steps we need to protect our own borders.

“Suella Braverman, to her credit, has long called for domestic legal changes to enable British judges to ignore the ECHR and allow flights to Rwanda to commence.

“It is equally to his credit that Rishi Sunak is now pressing for a discussion of the issue of migration to be put on the agenda of the forthcoming meeting of the European Political Community.

“It would be very welcome if the Prime Minister took the opportunity of the Conservative Party conference to make clear that he will press for a renegotiation of the ECHR, to make it more relevant to modern conditions – and that, if that cannot be agreed, the UK will legislate to disapply the ECHR in our domestic law.”

Sir John Hayes, Chairman of the Common Sense Group and President of the New Conservatives, said: “If and when the unaccountable European court stands in the way of the British people’s democratic will, expressed through our sovereign parliament, it must be relegated to the role of an observer of our affairs, no longer a participant in them”

Tory MP Tom Hunt added: “In many constituencies, immigration is now one of the dominant issues – if not the most dominant issue.

“If there are laws or conventions that are in any way inhibiting our ability to robustly tackle illegal migration, then they must urgently be reviewed and all options should be on the table, including, If necessary, leaving the ECHR.

“If our membership of the European Convention of Human Rights is viewed within the context of our attempts to control our borders and successfully tackling the small boats crisis, I’m confident there will be majority support in the country for this approach.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman floated the prospect of Britain leaving the ECHR if it continued to ground flights to Rwanda.

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She said during a keynote address in Washington: “I reject that notion that a country cannot be expected to respect human rights if it is not signed up to an international human rights organisation.

“As if the UK doesn’t have a proud history of human rights dating back to Magna Carta, and the ECHR is all that is holding us back from becoming Russia. America, Canada, New Zealand and Japan seem to manage just fine.”

Downing Street sources however claimed Mrs Braverman was not floating the idea of leaving the ECHR.

They dismissed claims they had given permission to the Home Secretary to moot the idea in public.

Ministers have refused to rule out leaving the convention, insisting that they will do “whatever it takes” to end the Channel migrant crisis.

More than 24,000 asylum seekers have reached UK shores so far this year, after a record 45,755 arrived last year.

The crisis has heaped even more pressure on Britain’s broken asylum system, costing taxpayers £3.966 billion-per-year.

This includes £8 million-per-day on hotel rooms for migrants.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has refused to rule out withdrawing from the ECHR but has said he believes that the Rwanda policy complies with the convention.

This view was echoed by Downing Street sources yesterday, who insisted the Government believes it can stop boats within the ECHR framework.

The Daily Express understands the Government will not publicly change its position on the ECHR until after the Supreme Court ruling.

Ministers are confident they will get the green light for flights to Kigali to begin taking off.

But Mr Sunak is also trying to persuade the Strasbourg court to reform its Rule 39 “pyjama injunctions”.

The Prime Minister wants national governments to be able to make their case before deportation flights are grounded. He also wants to see an increase in accountability over its decision-making process.

The recent Illegal Migration Act grants the home secretary the ability to ignore Rule 39 orders, but there are concerns over its compatibility with ECHR membership and whether using the new power may still delay flights.

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