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Raab to bring back British Bill of Rights in bid to curb migrant crossings

06 Nov 2022 2 minute read
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab. PA images Victoria Jones

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is set to revive the British Bill of Rights as part of his Government’s strategy to deal with the crisis of migrant small boats crossing the English Channel.

Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the legislation – giving the UK courts supremacy over the European Court of Human Rights – will return to Parliament “in the coming weeks”.

When it was introduced under then-premier Boris Johnson, ministers said it would prevent judges in the Strasbourg court from interfering in the Government’s controversial policy to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda to have their claims processed.

However, the Bill was shelved by Liz Truss when she became prime minister in September after Government sources warned it was “unlikely to progress in its current form”.

But Mr Raab, who had championed the legislation before he was sacked by Ms Truss, said its return would “reinject a healthy dose of common sense to the system and end abuse of our laws”.

Highly controversial

The move comes as ministers are under intense pressure to deal with the migrant crisis following the disclosure of dangerously overcrowded conditions at a processing centre at Manston in Kent.

They hope the prospect of deportation to the east African state will deter migrants from making the dangerous Channel crossing.

However they have so far been frustrated after an interim ruling by a judge in Strasbourg in June blocked the first deportation flights and they are now waiting for the UK courts to rule on whether the policy is legal.

Nevertheless the Bill of Rights is unlikely to provide a quick fix as it is also highly controversial and the Government is likely to face a tough battle – particularly in the House of Lords – to get it onto the statute book.

In a statement, Mr Raab said: “It builds on the UK’s proud tradition of liberty by strengthening freedom of speech, reinjecting a healthy dose of common sense to the system and ending abuse of our laws.

“It will put an end to the mission creep of continuously expanding human rights laws, and re-establish proper democratic oversight from Parliament.

“It will make crystal clear that the UK Supreme Court is not subordinate to the European Court of Human Rights.”


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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
23 days ago

Oh here comes the British Bill of NO Rights which, if more of us would just WAKE UP, can easily be side stepped by ‘taking back control’ (now there’s a phrase) of our own country. Cymru must remain aligned with the ECHR and not be steamrollered by this heinous attack on our basic rights.

Knight G1
Knight G1
23 days ago

Something needs to be done to limit the number of migrants crossing the channel because it’s going to affect us all in Britain. The NHS in Wales is already under strain. It doesn’t help when Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru want Wales to be a nation of sanctuary for all. When Saunders Lewis warned that unless something is done the Welsh language will be dead within a generation, but unless something is done now not only will the Welsh language will be dead within a generation the Welsh people will be too. The recent 2021 census results show an increase… Read more »

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
22 days ago
Reply to  Knight G1

We are not going to lose the Welsh language if the Senedd finally gets sensible and abolishes English medium nursery and primary school provision. As for the immigration thing one only needs to do a bit of ancestry research to see that economic migration has been going on for ages and those who migrate into Wales get integrated and become as Welsh as those whose families have been there longer. To stop the Channel crossings the Government only needs to set up an immigrant processing centre (or two) in France. The trouble is that something sensoble like that would not… Read more »

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
23 days ago

I wouldn’t worry too much. Michael Gove was tasked with this by Cameron and spent two years working hard on it. He submitted his first draft to the government legal eagles who immediately returned it pointing out that under the UK constitution as it exists, the very title of the Bill was illegal. The coke snorting oik then gave up on it. Gove is an oily sort but in comparison to Raab he is a veritable genius. The Blank Czech is as thick as mince and his starting point, removing everyone’s right to life including his own, is not a… Read more »

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
23 days ago

As far as I can see, this Government is hell bent on removing everyone’s rights! When their prime concern is stirring up hatred for refugees, beware folks you will be next.

Ivor Schilling
Ivor Schilling
22 days ago

I prefer to call them economic migrants.

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