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UK mulls banning Strasbourg Court orders on refugee deportations

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Britain's Home Secretary Suella Braverman giving a statement, in the House of Commons in London, on March 21, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

The British government is locked in negotiations with up to 60 Conservative lawmakers trying to ban the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) from interfering with Britain’s controversial immigration policy.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said she was in talks with up to 60 Conservative MPs who want to stop Britain from following decisions made by the court in Strasbourg, according to the Daily Telegraph.

If ministers agree to block the use of a mechanism used by the ECHR, migrants who arrive in the UK illegally could be deported even if they challenge the government under human rights law.

The plan comes ahead of a major rebellion from both wings of the Conservative Party over Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Illegal Migration Bill, which will stop people crossing the Channel in small boats.

Sunak has promised to end the small boats issue once and for all, by introducing the bill.

Critics, including former Tory ministers, said the measure is doomed to be halted by challenges in the ECHR and will be used as an issue to attack Labor in a general election campaign.

Tory ministers have warned the Home Secretary that controversial decisions by the Strasbourg would made Britain an international “pariah."

Last year, the court granted an injunction that effectively grounded a flight sending asylum-seekers from the UK to Rwanda.

On her recent trip to Rwanda, Braverman said she was “encouraged” by “constructive” talks with Strasbourg to overhaul court injunctions.

London's policy of deporting illegal migrants to Rwanda is currently on hold while it is challenged separately in the British courts.

The case is awaiting a hearing at the Court of Appeal after judges granted an appeal to the High Court’s original decision that the policy was lawful.

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