The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has stated that the UK may withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights so that the UK Conservative government can go ahead with its deportation of asylum seekers to the central African nation of Rwanda.
The UK currently has a law in place to deport asylum seekers who have entered Britain illegally to the African nation where they can be processed. However, the first flights scheduled to leave Britain have had most of the asylum seekers removed before the flight took off due to court injunctions by human rights lawyers.
Johnson told journalists:
“The legal world is very good at picking up ways of trying to stop the Government from upholding what we think is a sensible law. Will it be necessary to change some rules to help us as we go along? It very well may be.”
When asked if the UK would withdraw from the European Human Rights Act (ECHR) in order to stop these court injunctions, Johnson said:
“All these options are under constant review.”
The ECHR was established after the Second World War and written by a group of politicians including, Sir Winston Churchill, the UK’s wartime leader. Since 1998 it has been integrated fully with UK law. However, following a move to the right by UK Conservatives and Brexit, there have been calls to do away with human rights laws in the country.
Many of the asylum seekers currently entering the UK are doing so from France via small boats across the English Channel. These boats are run by criminal gangs who charge asylum seekers money to take the journey. Many have died during this trip.
When questioned on this, Johnson said:
“I think that what the criminal gangs are doing and what those who effectively are abetting the work of the criminal gangs are doing is undermining people’s confidence in the safe and legal system, undermining people’s general acceptance of immigration.”
“We are not going to be in any way deterred or abashed by some of the criticism that is being directed upon this policy, some of it from slightly unexpected quarters. We are going to get on and deliver.”
[Based on reporting by: The Daily Mail]