Rishi Sunak willing to defy Europe over plans to stop migrants

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Rishi Sunak is considering pulling the UK out of the European Convention on Human Rights to stop the flow of small boats carrying migrants across the Channel. The Prime Minister is preparing to take action after being told that 65,000 could make the journey this year.

A record 45,000 made the crossing in 2022.

He said his blueprint for overhauling the system would see asylum claims heard in “days or weeks”.

The Daily Express understands Mr Sunak and Home Secretary Suella Braverman are finalising plans for the toughest immigration legislation seen in this country.

Officials say measures will be unveiled within weeks.

A source said: “We are pushing the boundaries of what is legally possible, while staying within the ECHR.

“And we are confident that when it is tested in the courts, we will win.

“But if this legislation gets on to the statute book and is found to be lawful by our domestic courts, but it is still being held up in Strasbourg, then we know the problem is not our legislation, or our courts.

“If that’s the case, then of course he will be willing to reconsider whether being part of the ECHR is in the UK’s long-term interests.”

Business Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “What we can’t have are boats arriving here with illegal gangs and gang masters trafficking people here and to be impotent in return.

“So Rishi is absolutely right to apply the full force of the law to stop this illegal trade in human misery.”

Ministers have made stopping the flow of small boats crossing the Channel a top priority, with Tory MPs warning that failure to get a grip will be disastrous at the next election.

Mr Sunak has already outlined how the Government intends to bar migrants from claiming asylum as part of his pledge to “stop the boats”.

But extra measures are being drafted to strip back migrants’ ability to launch judicial reviews or appeals.

Two separate sets of proposals are being drawn up.

The first option would prevent all small boat migrants from submitting a judicial review of their exclusion from the asylum system.

The second proposal would only allow legal challenges to be lodged once the migrant has been removed from the UK – possibly to Rwanda.

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