Politics

Tory MP wants to 'ignore the law' to send people to Rwanda

Tory MP blames lawyers blocking government plan to send people to Rwanda

A Tory MP is trying to circumvent the law and go forward with deportation flights to Rwanda.

Jonathan Gullis has tabled the Asylum Seekers (Removal to Safe Countries) Bill, which he said will make sure "the final say on legislative matters lies in Parliament, not judges in a quasi-legislative supranational court in Strasbourg" in an interview with the Telegraph.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, Gullis said he was trying to "add to the prime minister's suite of options" to enact the Rwanda scheme and said "ignoring" the ECHR , which blocked initial flights, would "act as a deterrent" to stop people making the journey which he said endangered their lives and financed criminal gangs.

"This is about parliamentary sovereignty and enacting that sovereignty," he added, when quizzed about ignoring the ECHR's ruling.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Former home secretary Priti Patel made the controversial and widely criticised policy earlier this year but it flopped and no asylum seekers have been deported because the European Court of Human Rights blocked the first flights due to take off in June.

Gullis's bill has attracted the support of former prime minister Boris Johnson, Patel, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nadine Dorries. How's that for a rogues gallery...

Meanwhile, yesterday Rishi Sunak outlined new policies to deal with people entering the UK via small boats and said he would use disused holiday parks, former student halls and surplus military sites, to house asylum seekers and restart the Rwanda scheme.

People who do not come to the country through legal and safe routes "will be detained and swiftly returned either to [their] home country or a safe country where [their] asylum claim will be considered".

He said those coming illegally would "no longer be able to frustrate removal attempts with late or spurious claims or appeals" and, once removed from the UK, "should have no right to re-entry settlement or citizenship".

He also pledged to work with the UN Refugee Agency to create more legal routes "so the UK remains a safe haven for the most vulnerable".

"The solution shouldn't just be what works, but what is right," said Sunak. "It is unfair people come here illegally.

"Enough is enough."

It is a simple and fundamental principle that the government derives its democratic legitimacy from the people. The future of the country must not be decided by plotting and U-turns at Westminster; it must be decided by the people in a general election. And for this reason The Independent is calling for an election to be held. Have your say and sign our election petition by clicking here.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)