Priti Patel claims European judges who blocked Rwanda migrant flight are ‘anti-Tory’


Furious Priti Patel claims European judges who blocked Rwanda migrant flight at the 11th hour are ‘anti-Tory’ and ‘anti-Brexit’ as she blasts ‘scandalous’ intervention and vows to overturn the decision

  • Priti Patel said European judges who blocked Rwanda flight are ‘anti-Tory’ 
  • Patel also suggested their intervention was politically motivated and ‘anti-Brexit’
  • Home Secretary had hoped to send migrants on a one-way flight to Rwanda 
  • The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) was set up after WWII 
  • ECHR said British courts should first rule on whether Patel’s policy is legal
  • The Tories hoped their Rwanda policy would deter illegal Channel crossings 

Priti Patel has claimed that European human rights judges who blocked a migrant flight to Rwanda are ‘anti-Tory’ and ‘anti-Brexit’.

The Home Secretary, whose parents were Ugandan Indian immigrants to Britain, blasted the ‘scandalous’ intervention and vowed to overturn the decision while also making clear her desire to leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The inaugural removal flight to east Africa was cancelled shortly before it was due to take off on Tuesday following an 11th-hour intervention by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) – despite the UK Supreme Court‘s initial green light. 

Patel wanted to send migrants on a one-way flight to Rwanda in a bid to deter other illegal migrants from making dangerous crossings in the Channel. 

She also suggested the ECHR’s intervention was politically motivated and came about because of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. 

Priti Patel has claimed that European human rights judges who blocked a migrant flight to Rwanda are 'anti-Tory' and 'anti-Brexit'

Priti Patel has claimed that European human rights judges who blocked a migrant flight to Rwanda are ‘anti-Tory’ and ‘anti-Brexit’

Members of the staff board a plane reported by British media to be first to transport migrants to Rwanda, at MOD Boscombe Down base in Wiltshire on June 14

Members of the staff board a plane reported by British media to be first to transport migrants to Rwanda, at MOD Boscombe Down base in Wiltshire on June 14

An RNLI lifeboat escorted 80 migrants back to Dover on June 17 after they were picked up in the English Channel

An RNLI lifeboat escorted 80 migrants back to Dover on June 17 after they were picked up in the English Channel

Boris Johnson agreed in his 2019 Brexit deal that Britain's commitment to the ECHR was essential to have the cooperation with the European bloc that he desired. Yet Downing Street has left the door open to the move, saying 'all options are on the table'

Boris Johnson agreed in his 2019 Brexit deal that Britain’s commitment to the ECHR was essential to have the cooperation with the European bloc that he desired. Yet Downing Street has left the door open to the move, saying ‘all options are on the table’

‘How and why did they make that decision? Was it politically motivated? I’m of the view that it is, absolutely,’ she told The Telegraph.

‘The opaque way this court has operated is absolutely scandalous. That needs to be questioned.

‘We don’t know who the judges are, we don’t know who the panel are, we haven’t actually had a judgment – just a press release and a letter saying we can’t move this person under rule 39.

‘They’ve not used this ruling previously, which does make you question the motivation and the lack of transparency.’

Patel, who said she received abusive messages calling her a ‘racist b****’ because of the plan, added the ECHR’s decision was anti-Tory.

She said: ‘This is all about thwarting flights and keeping people who have come here, through these dangerous routes, in our country rather than actually letting the Government do its work.’

The ECHR was set up by politicians including Sir Winston Churchill after the Second World War and is not connected to the EU.

Boris Johnson agreed in his 2019 Brexit deal that Britain’s commitment to the ECHR was essential to have the cooperation with the European bloc that he desired.

After the ECHR stopped Britain from sending illegal migrants on a one-way plane to Rwanda, Patel said: ‘I’m not an advocate of European institutions, I never have been.’

Leaving the institution may jeopardise Britain’s relationship with the EU, especially as the Government has threatened to tear up the Northern Ireland Protocol created to prevent a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

As well as breaking the terms of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal it would also break the terms of the Good Friday Agreement that brought an end to 30 years of conflict in Northern Ireland.

Some ministers are calling for the UK to ignore the ECHR ruling, arguing that its ruling can simply be overridden. Previously, the UK ignored ECHR rulings on prisoner voting.

One Cabinet minister told MailOnline: ‘The ECHR decisions, unlike the European Court of Justice, do not have direct effect so can simply be overridden.’

‘When our own courts accept something is legal we should not allow an oddly constituted international court to overrule the democratic process. We should assert Parliamentary sovereignty.’

According to the European Implementation Network, which monitors the effectiveness of the court, almost half of its judgments in the last decade are yet to be complied with by member states.

The UK is one of the top performers, complying with 80 per cent of judgments, compared with 72 per cent for France, 63 per cent for Germany and just 39 per cent for Spain.

Russia has implemented only 10 per cent of the court’s rulings in the last decade, while Azerbaijan has followed just three per cent.

The ECHR was set up by politicians including Sir Winston Churchill after the Second World War and is not connected to the EU

The ECHR was set up by politicians including Sir Winston Churchill after the Second World War and is not connected to the EU

The grounded Rwanda deportation flight EC-LZO Boeing 767 at Boscombe Down Air Base in Wiltshire last night

The grounded Rwanda deportation flight EC-LZO Boeing 767 at Boscombe Down Air Base in Wiltshire last night

A private charter jet leaves MoD Boscombe Down empty on Tuesday

A private charter jet leaves MoD Boscombe Down empty on Tuesday

Priti Patel's inaugural deportation flight is seen at MoD Boscombe Down base in Wiltshire on Tuesday night

Priti Patel’s inaugural deportation flight is seen at MoD Boscombe Down base in Wiltshire on Tuesday night

A convoy believed to be carrying migrants leaves MoD Boscombe Down on Tuesday night

A convoy believed to be carrying migrants leaves MoD Boscombe Down on Tuesday night

 

Police vehicles pictured guarding the main entrance to MoD Boscombe Down in Wiltshire

Police vehicles pictured guarding the main entrance to MoD Boscombe Down in Wiltshire

However, there were signs that a full withdrawal from the ECHR would split the Tory Party.

Downing Street has left the door open to the move, saying ‘all options are on the table’.

Attorney General Suella Braverman told the BBC: ‘We are considering our response in relation to that decision, but more broadly we are definitely open to assessing all options available as to what our relationship should be going forward with the [ECHR].’

Although Britain’s courts have said the flights can go ahead, they have not said they will be legal.

Protesters gathered outside Colnbrook Immigration Detention Centre in Heathrow and lay on the ground in an effort to halt Tuesday's first flight transporting UK asylum seekers to Rwanda

Protesters gathered outside Colnbrook Immigration Detention Centre in Heathrow and lay on the ground in an effort to halt Tuesday’s first flight transporting UK asylum seekers to Rwanda

Schoolchildren walk along a street among pedestrians in Kigali, Rwanda, on June 15, following the dramatic flight cancellation

Schoolchildren walk along a street among pedestrians in Kigali, Rwanda, on June 15, following the dramatic flight cancellation

The Supreme Court made clear that if a full High Court review of the Rwanda policy finds the plan to be illegal, the Government will have to fly the migrants back to the UK. 

Yet the ECHR went further and said Priti Patel and the Tories should wait to hear whether their policy is legal before sending the migrants to Rwanda. The High Court’s review is expected to take place is July.

Patel acknowledged Rwanda’s genocidal past that is wrought with human rights abuses and said: ‘The past is appalling but it’s scarred the country in the sense that they are rebuilding.

‘I always think the silent, hard-working majority just want the Government of the day to be left to get on and do its job.’

Timeline of defeat: How the first flight to Rwanda failed to take off 

Tuesday was meant to mark the first flight of the Government’s much-vaunted Rwanda resettlement scheme for UK asylum seekers.

At the start of the day, just seven names remained of the 130 on the original passenger list after a series of legal challenges. So how did the day unfold?

12.42pm – The Supreme Court rejected an appeal over a judge’s refusal to call off the removal of an asylum seeker due to be deported. 

2.05pm – The first of four appeals before the High Court was rejected by Lord Justice Swift.

2.30pm – The second and third asylum seekers’ appeals were also refused at the High Court by Lord Swift.

3.30pm – The Prime Minister admits it may be ‘necessary to change some laws’ in an interview with Sky News to allow the Rwanda resettlement scheme.

4.30pm – A fourth asylum seeker’s claim is also rejected at the High Court by Lord Swift. 

4.35pm – A Boeing 767 aircraft is spotted on the runway at MoD Boscombe Down in Wiltshire.

4.40pm – Rwanda government spokeswoman Yolande Maloki defends the resettlement scheme in a press conference and insists it is not a punishment.

6.10pm – Protesters from ‘Stop Deportations!’ block the exit routes from Colnbrook Immigration Detention Centre in Heathrow.

6.40pm – In a decisive turning point, the European Court of Human Rights passes an injunction preventing a 54-year-old Iraqi man from being transferred on the flight. 

6.55pm – Around five Home Office vans are spotted at MoD Boscombe Down. 

7.20pm – Speculation mounts whether the flight will go ahead after the ECHR’s ruling.

7.45pm – Demonstrators gather at the front of Mod Boscombe Down waving banners. 

9.30pm – There are reports of just three asylum seekers on the plane, which was due to take off shortly.

10pm – Reports emerge that there is just one asylum seeker left on the plane amid confusion over whether it will depart.

10.10pm – The final asylum seeker is removed from the Boeing 767 aircraft, at which point it  is announced the flight has been cancelled.

Advertisement

Source

Related posts