Dominic Raab turns up the heat up on Human Rights Act: Reforms branded ‘spicy’ will make it easier to kick out migrants who abuse law
Ministers are to set out ‘spicy’ reforms to the Human Rights Act next month to make it easier to deport failed asylum seekers and foreign criminals.
Labour’s Human Rights Act incorporates rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights in UK law.
It has survived in place despite Brexit, and has been blamed by ministers for frustrating attempts to remove those with no right to remain in this country.
Downing Street said reforms would be designed to ‘make sure the Human Rights Act meets the needs of the society it serves and commands public confidence’.
Whitehall sources told the Daily Mail that use of the controversial ‘right to private and family life’ is set to be severely curtailed.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab (pictured) is expected to unveil the results of an independent review of the controversial legislation before Christmas.
One senior source said the reforms would be at the ‘spicy, vindaloo end of the menu’.
The right to family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights is regularly deployed by foreign criminals, including murderers and rapists, to avoid deportation from Britain after committing crimes here.
It is also deployed by some asylum seekers trying to establish the right to stay in the UK.
Mr Raab is expected to announce plans to also withdraw from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, meaning future human rights cases would be settled in London.
Speaking at the Conservative Party conference last month he said the UK’s Supreme Court ‘should be supreme in relation to human rights law’.
However, he is expected to stop short of withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights, despite some Tory MPs warning yesterday it was now essential.
Lee Anderson, one of a group of MPs who held talks with Boris Johnson on the issue on Wednesday, said: ‘If we want to be a truly sovereign nation we should be setting our own legislation.’
Another present at the meeting said the PM told MPs to ‘watch this space’ when asked about reform of human rights laws.
The Nationality and Borders Bill will also curtail the right of asylum seekers to launch endless appeals.
When it comes into force next year, people will have to present all their claims at the same time, without the further right to appeal.
A Home Office source said: ‘We are going to stop the endless appeals which drag things out for years.
‘You will not be able to come back year after year with different claims on different grounds.’
How deadly crossings could be stopped
A group of more than 40 migrants get on an inflatable dinghy, as they leave the coast of northern France to cross the English Channel this week
What are the potential solutions to the Channel migrant crisis?
1. British boots on the ground in France
The Government has repeatedly offered Border Force and police officers for joint patrols on French beaches. It would make it easier to monitor the 124-mile stretch of coast from which dinghies set sail.
French politicians insist the idea breaches their sovereignty but Boris Johnson has this week urged them to agree to the idea.
2. France agreeing to take back migrants
Tory backbenchers say the best way to destroy the smuggling gangs’ business model would be to show that any migrants who make it across quickly find themselves back in France. Requires a new post-Brexit returns agreement with the French.
France has so far shown no sign of wanting to agree a new returns deal with the UK.
3. Asylum claims being processed offshore
Another policy popular with Tory MPs, who believe Australia reduced asylum seeker numbers with a tough stance of detaining migrants on a remote island while their claims were examined. But it would prove costly and open to legal challenge.
Rests on ministers persuading an overseas government to agree to the plan. So far they have looked at everywhere from Ascension Island to the Isle of Man and Albania.
4. Boats being turned back at sea
The ‘pushback’ tactic was announced by Priti Patel in September. Border Force officers have been trained in the exercise, which would see them surround a dinghy on jet skis, block its path then shepherd it back to France. It has not yet been used.
The risks of flimsy, overcrowded inflatables being turned round in the busy English Channel may mean Border Force captains will never consider it safe to attempt.
5. Making it harder to claim asylum in Britain
Under the flagship Nationality and Borders Bill, a twin-track asylum system will see those who arrive across the Channel deemed illegal with fewer rights than those who come by legal, safe routes.
The new law should be passed given the Government’s majority in the Commons but once it comes into force, attempts to restrict asylum seekers’ rights will be challenged in the courts by human rights lawyers.