Channel migrants could be banned from appealing against deportation
Migrants who arrive in the UK illegally could be banned from appealing against their deportation under Rishi Sunak’s plan to stop small boats crossing the Channel.
The Government is currently working on a new Illegal Immigration (Offences) Bill aimed at curbing the Channel arrivals.
One proposal being considered would be to end the right of illegal arrivals to launch a judicial review against their automatic exclusion from the asylum system – one of the core purposes of the new Bill.
A less radical option under consideration would allow them to appeal but only after they have been deported, The Times reported.
The Government is also understood to be looking at ways to remove the influence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) when considering appeals, including through “notwithstanding clauses” which would direct British courts to ignore ECHR rulings in specific cases.
The proposals are likely to attract criticism that they breach international law.
The Telegraph understands that the Government will not bring forward the Bill until after the parliamentary recess, meaning the earliest it could be introduced would be the end of this month.
A government source said that the Bill had been held up amid ongoing efforts by the Home Office and Number 10 to make it legally “watertight”, given its contentious provisions aimed at restricting illegal migrants’ ability to avoid deportation.
An ally of Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, said that the Bill had to be “right first time” and there was an “overriding imperative to get this legally bomb-proof”.
While the Government has stressed the need to make sure the Bill is secure from legal challenge, Tory backbenchers are becoming increasingly frustrated at the delay.
Marco Longhi, a vocal campaigner for action to deter illegal immigration, told The Telegraph that he was “yet to be convinced” about the Government’s plans, “because we’ve had initiative after initiative come through and it’s been scuppered each time under the banner of human rights”.
“We’ve been marched up the hill and back so many times now”, the Tory MP for Dudley North said.
Mr Longhi also claimed that MPs in his own party had got in the way of Downing Street taking firmer action to curb the boats.
He said: “I do believe that Number 10 does want to sort this out. But they know that there are a number of MPs on their own side who feel that they absolutely must showcase their greater sense of altruism and maintain ECHR at all costs.”
He added that some MPs had taken a belated interest in the issue only when migrants were accommodated in luxury hotels in their constituencies.
“They’re getting their own hotels filled with illegal immigrants that they can’t afford to go for afternoon tea in anymore,” he said.
A former minister said that it was “deeply disappointing” that there was still “no action” after more than 100 days of Mr Sunak being in power.
“A lot of backbenchers are now extremely uneasy about this and are raising points with their whips or with ministers,” they said.
Sunak under pressure to deliver
Another MP said they were willing to give Mr Sunak a bit more time: “I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt and to see what he brings forward. We’ve seen many false starts on illegal immigration, so I’d rather he takes time and gets it right.”
However, they added: “If it was looking like we were meandering towards a general election without this being resolved, there would be uproar within the parliamentary party. He needs to deliver on this.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “The unacceptable number of people risking their lives by making these dangerous crossings is placing an unprecedented strain on our asylum system.
“Our priority is to stop this and prevent these illegal crossings, and our new Small Boats Operational Command – bolstered by hundreds of extra staff – is working hard to disrupt the business model of people smugglers.
“We are also going further by introducing legislation which will ensure that those people arriving in the UK illegally are detained and promptly removed either to their home country or a safe third country.”