Boris Johnson says Government may ‘very well’ have to change law to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda


Boris Johnson says Government may ‘very well’ have to change the law to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda

  • Prime minister asked about human rights law at Falklands War memorial event
  • Mr Johnson said: ‘Will it be necessary to change some rules? It very well may be.’
  • Added: ‘The legal world is very good at finding ways to try and stop Government’
  • PM refused to rule out withdrawal from European Convention on Human Rights 

Boris Johnson said the Government could ‘very well’ change human rights law in order to enforce its Rwanda migrants plan.

Asked earlier today about a series of legal challenges to the offshore processing policy, the prime minister refused to rule out pulling out of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Mr Johnson told broadcasters: ‘The legal world is very good at picking up ways of trying to stop the Government from upholding what we think is a sensible law.

‘Will it be necessary to change some rules to help us as we go along? It very well may be.’ 

Boris Johnson, pictured at today's Falklands War service, said 'All options are under review'

Boris Johnson, pictured at today’s Falklands War service, said ‘All options are under review’

Border Force staff are pictured escorting Channel migrants ashore at Dover earlier today

Border Force staff are pictured escorting Channel migrants ashore at Dover earlier today

Answering a follow-up question about the ECHR, the PM said: ‘All these options are under constant review.’

At least four asylum seekers will be onboard a Boeing 767-300 to the east African country set to take off tonight after their legal appeals failed at the High Court. 

The ECHR was drafted in 1948 by a panel of politicians including Winston Churchill to guarantee ‘liberty of thought, assembly and expression’.

It has been enforced in the UK since 1998 through Tony Blair’s Human Rights Act.

Three Iranians, one Vietnamese, one Albanian and one Iraqi Kurd are being held at Colnbrook detention centre, Heathrow.

A woman is attended to by Border Force workers after making the perilous journey to Dover

A woman is attended to by Border Force workers after making the perilous journey to Dover

A family of Channel migrants wearing life jackets are escorted by staff onto shore at Dover

A family of Channel migrants wearing life jackets are escorted by staff onto shore at Dover

A second Iraqi Kurd is at Brook House near Gatwick, the BBC reported.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court rejected a last-ditch appeal to block the removal of one of the Iraqi asylum seekers.

A panel of three justices refused permission for the man to challenge a Court of Appeal ruling yesterday which upheld the earlier decision of a High Court judge not to grant an injunction stopping the flight.

The court’s president, Lord Reed, said there had been an ‘assurance’ that, if the policy is found to be unlawful in an upcoming judicial review, steps would be taken to bring back any migrants flown to Rwanda in the interim.

The PM has sought to crack down on unsafe routes into the UK. Pictured: migrants at Dover

The PM has sought to crack down on unsafe routes into the UK. Pictured: migrants at Dover

This morning, Liz Truss said the first plane will take off today even if it is only carrying one migrant. 

The Supreme Court ruling means this condition will be met.

Priti Patel’s initiative has sparked controversy among human rights campaigners, who have pointed out the lack of freedoms in the east-central African country. 

The United Nations’ refugee chief labelled the plan ‘catastrophic’.

Migrants held at the UK’s offshore processing centre in capital Kigali will be brought to the UK if their asylum appeals are successful.

If they are unsuccessful, migrants will be left in the country.

Boris Johnson maintains the policy will ‘support safe and legal routes for people to come to the UK and to oppose the illegal and dangerous routes’.

Opening today’s Cabinet meeting, the PM said: ‘I think that what the criminal gangs are doing and what those who effectively are abetting the work of the criminal gangs are doing is undermining people’s confidence in the safe and legal system, undermining people’s general acceptance of immigration.’

He added: ‘We are not going to be in any way deterred or abashed by some of the criticism that is being directed upon this policy, some of it from slightly unexpected quarters. We are going to get on and deliver.’

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