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British bill may not be compatible with ECHR
Pic: Shutterstock

08 Mar 2023 / human rights Print

British bill may not be compatible with ECHR

Britain’s home secretary has defended plans to introduce legislation aimed at reducing the number of migrants crossing the English Channel on small boats.

Under the new proposals, announced on Tuesday, anyone found to have entered Britain illegally will not only be removed within 28 days, but also be blocked from returning or claiming British citizenship in future.

Suella Braverman (pictured) told the House of Commons on Tuesday that she could not make a definitive statement that the provisions of the Illegal Migration Bill were compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

She described the approach taken in the bill as “robust and novel”.

Talks with ECtHR

Braverman also said that the British Government had “initiated discussions” with the European Court of Human Rights, after it stepped in last year to block plans to send some asylum-seekers to Rwanda. She described the current process as “deeply flawed”.

She told the BBC this morning (8 March) that the British public "have had enough" of migrants arriving in small boats.

Law Society of England and Wales President Lubna Shuja said that the organisation would look at the bill in detail when it was published.

“As with all legislation, our lens will be the rule of law and access to justice.

“We are concerned neither of these principles have featured in the government’s framing of the bill prior to publishing it. So, we will be looking carefully at whether Britain will uphold its international obligations, and whether the Home Office can deliver a fair and workable process,” Shuja said.

‘Frank conversation’ with Lineker

The bill will enable detention of illegal arrivals, without bail or judicial review, within the first 28 days of detention, until they can be removed.

Meanwhile, the BBC has said it will be having a “frank conversation” with Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker after he tweeted about the asylum bill, describing its language as "not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s".

Braverman said that she was “disappointed” by the comments.

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