Boris demands PM ‘get Rwanda done’ in blistering intervention after court blow
UK-Rwanda deportations ruled unlawful
Boris Johnson has demanded that Rishi Sunak takes urgent action to ensure the Rwanda deportations go ahead to break the business model of “evil” people traffickers.
The former Prime Minister has waded into the Channel small boats debate in his weekly column for the Daily Mail which he said he would avoid discussing politics in unless absolutely necessary.
His intervention comes as Tory MPs are preparig to demand that Mr Sunak “keeps his word” to do “whatever is necessary to stop the boats.”
This means for many Conservative MPs that the Prime Minister at last agrees to consider withdrawing from the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) and the “politicised” Strasbourg court which oversees it.
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The former Prime Minister, who along with his Home Secretary Priti Patel, ushered in the groundbreaking Rwanda scheme more than a year ago to try to act as a deterrent to illegal migrants making the dangerous journey to Britain.
In his column today he branded it “one of the best hopes we still have to stop this vile trade”.
The ruling by a split decision by the three judges in the Appeal Court was made because two of them said not enough had been done to ensure Rwanda would not deport the migrants sent there from Britain.
But Mr Johnson has rejected their verdict.
He wrote: “We must take radical action to get Rwanda done! Britain has a proud history of giving sanctuary to those in fear of their lives… but we can’t allow the traffickers to keep mocking our immigration system.”
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In his piece Mr Johnson refused to back those who want to leave the ECHR, warning that it would split the Tories.
He said: “There are some who argue that we should immediately quit the European Convention on Human Rights; and though I can certainly see the attractions of this it would take time, and cause divisions, and would not solve the immediate problem raised by this case.”
But he made it clear that he disagreed with “sneering” leftwingers who have made comments about an African country “they know nothing about.”
And he predicted that the small boats crisis in the Channel is set to get worse.
He said: “We have the long weeks of the summer ahead, when flotillas of dinghies will be launched across the level brine from France, full to the gunwales with able-bodied young men (the vast majority of the complements) who know perfectly well that as soon as they reach UK waters they have made it; that they will be fed, housed, looked after; that taxpayer-funded lawyers will make it impossible for them to be deported; and that eventually they will be able to melt into the UK’s vast and labour-hungry economy.”
He added: “That is the certainty that encourages them to pay the criminal gangs their extortionate fees. That is the pitch that these gangsters are making to these desperate young people.
Instead of immediately reconsidering Britain’s relationship with the ECHR, Mr Johnson urged Rishi Sunak and Home secretary Suella Braverman to use the Conservative majority to force legislation through which will allow Rwnda flights to go ahead.
He warned that they would need to stand up to the Lords where the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has helped lead resistance to any policy which helps Britain protect its borders.
Mr Johnson said: “The Rwanda plan is the only practical hope we have of breaking that business model. We must provide a vivid demonstration — to the gangs, and all the people who are so foolish as to trust to their boats — that there is another future.
2We have to show that an illegal arrival in Britain is not the end of the story. We have to prove that instead of being put up in a hotel, you might — just might — find yourself being put on a plane, and having your asylum application being processed in Kigali.”
Outlining his solution, he said: “
As the judgment points out, the Government has the power, under Schedule 3 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004, to ask Parliament to deem Rwanda a safe country. That has not so far been done and it should now be done — immediately.
“Yes, of course there would be a row. The House of Lords might well be difficult — but we have been here before.
“It is time for the Government to settle the legal position. It is time — with a large remaining majority — for Parliament to determine that Rwanda is safe, bust the evil people traffickers, stop the boats, recapture the spirit of 2019 and get Rwanda done.”
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