Judges set to be stripped of power to block deportations of migrants to Rwanda

20 April 2023, 00:47

The grounded Rwanda deportation flight
The grounded Rwanda deportation flight would not be able to be stopped under new laws. Picture: Getty

By Chay Quinn

Judges are set to lose their power to block Government Rwanda deportations under an amendment to the Illegal Migration Bill, it has been reported.

Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman have conceded to right-wing Tories who threatened rebellions and will amend the bill to reform the use of Rule 39 orders from the European Court of Human Rights.

It will be amended to also include prevention of UK courts from granting injunctions to stop flights in most circumstances, as the Government seeks to get tough on immigration.

Judge will only be able to block deportations which represent a “real risk of serious and irreversible harm” in the territory they are being sent to.

The amendments will be published today as the fight over the controversial bill resumes.

One Tory backbencher told The Times: “A week ago nobody thought this was possible but in the final moments, Suella has come up with a deal that we can all get around."

The fight comes as Suella Braverman will attempt to declare Channel crossing an emergency in order to override local concerns over her planned use of RAF Wethersfield to house asylum seekers.

The Home Secretary brokered the compromise to prevent a rebellion of backbench Tories which could tank the legislation
The Home Secretary brokered the compromise to prevent a rebellion of backbench Tories which could tank the legislation. Picture: Getty

The Home Secretary has instructed lawyers to make the case that the influx of asylum seekers through Britain's south coast constitutes an emergency under a 2015 law to override planning laws amid an application for an injunction from Braintree District Council.

Braverman will attempt to invoke Class Q, an obscure rule which allows the Home Office to circumvent planning laws for government-owned lands in in an emergency.

The rule reads that these lands can be developed for “preventing an emergency, reducing, controlling or mitigating the effects of an emergency or taking other action in connection with an emergency”.

A spokesperson for Braintree District Council said: “We remain of the view that Wethersfield Airfield is an unsuitable site to house asylum seekers, given the lack of capacity in local services, its isolated location and the fact that the scale of the development proposed could have a significant impact upon the local community".

It comes two days after it was announced that asylum-seekers housed in Wales will receive £1,600-per-month and taxpayer cash to help them fight to stay in the UK, Welsh Labour ministers have announced.

The plans which have been submitted to the UK's Justice Secretary Lord Bellamy include a pilot scheme of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) for the migrants as well as allowing them to access legal aid for their case in Britain's courts.

Rishi Sunak's Illegal Immigration Bill will return to the Commons next week
Rishi Sunak's Illegal Immigration Bill will return to the Commons next week. Picture: Getty

Three members of the Labour-led Senedd are co-signatories of the plans: Jane Hutt, Julie Morgan and Mick Antoniw.

The letter to Lord Bellamy demands that all adult arrivals should receive the UBI when they get to Wales and not be deprived of help with their legal fees.

The request follows a similar scheme which provides the same amount of UBI to care leavers for two years after they leave state care.

The plan will also apply to child asylum-seekers who turn 18 after they arrive in Wales, should they get the go-ahead.

It comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is intending to stop small boats crossing the English Channel as part of his main policy pledges ahead of the next General Election - which must be announced before the end of 2024.

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