Ministers have been urged to draft contingency legislation that would allow deportations to proceed without regard to parts of the Human Rights Act if they lose the case.
“The government should envision legislation in September that would take effect as an insurance policy in case they lose in the High Court,” said Richard Ekins, professor of constitutional law and government at Oxford University and head of the judicial department at Policy Exchange. power project
David Jones, a former Cabinet minister, said: “The government should be approaching the Council of Europe for the ECHR negotiation. It is not appropriate for the circumstances that we are seeing in the first part of the 21st century.
“The Council of Europe could be receptive to such a negotiation but, if they were not, the Government must take measures in internal legislation to stop applying elements of the Convention that make it impossible to control our own borders.”
Former minister Sir John Hayes, chairman of the Tories’ Common Sense group, said leaving the ECHR had to be “on the table” if the prime minister was to make good on his promise to stop the ships.
“Continued obstruction through the ECHR goes against expectations of what sovereignty should look like and means that we cannot do what Parliament has promised to do and what the public wants us to do,” he added.
MPs believe the government would be unlikely to be able to get legislation withdrawn from the European Convention on Human Rights through Parliament before an election and would instead require a mandate from the country in a national vote to do so.
A Number 10 source said: “Our Stop the Boats Act will bring about the changes needed to reduce the incentives for people to risk their lives through illegal crossings while still being part of the ECHR. Our world leading partnership with Rwanda will work together with this as part of our plan to stop the ships.
“The Court of Appeal made it clear that the policy of relocating asylum seekers to a safe third country for the processing of their claims is in line with the Refugee Convention, and we trust in the legality of the association. Our focus now is on the next steps and our appeal.”