Suella Braverman announces new Illegal Migration Bill
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Left-wing MPs have been slammed for hypocrisy after attacking Suella Braverman over plans to rub up against the European Convention on Human Rights. The Government’s new migration bill, announced yesterday and designed to stop small boats coming across the Channel, contains a warning that the plan may not be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, however, the Home Secretary wishes to push on regardless.
Two pieces of legislation – one from Labour and one from the Lib Dem’s in the coalition Government – used a similar explanation previously.
A Government source told Express.co.uk: “The hypocrisy of Labour’s criticism knows no bounds.
“Both Labour and the Lib Dems have used the same mechanism before in legislation without breaking international law – anyone who says otherwise doesn’t have a clue as to what they’re talking about.”
The source added that Labour has “no idea on how to stop the boats and Sir Keir would rather have open borders and uncontrolled migration.”
The landmark Government bill includes a controversial “Section 19(1)(b)” order, meaning that while the Government doesn’t accept the new law is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), there is more than a 50 percent chance it may not be.
With the bill setting the Government up for a showdown with international courts, Labour MPs were quick to condemn the bill over the Government’s admission it may break treaty obligations.
Labour MP for Birkenhead Mick Whitley slammed the Home Secretary for not being able to say her bill conforms to the UK’s ECHR obligations.
He said: “Even for this Government, this is a horrifying new low.”
Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson described the Government’s legislation as an “illegal bill”.
Corbynite MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy shared a screenshot of the bill’s ECHR compatibility statement, predicting “The Tories would gladly take us out of the ECHR if it helps them step up the attack on refugees and asylum seekers.”
The MPs have been slammed by a Government source, however, who points out they are hypocrites given the last Labour Government used the exact same ECHR provision in a number of their bills.
Multiple pieces of legislation brought forward by the New Labour Government included the same international human rights warnings.
The Local Government Bill, introduced by John Prescott in 2000, warned that he was “unable to make a statement that in my view the provisions of the Local Government Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.”
Mr Prescott nevertheless wished “the House to proceed with the Local Government Bill.”
The wording from John Prescott was almost identical to that used in Suella Braverman’s Illegal Migration Bill, which reads “I am unable to make a statement that, in my view, the provisions of the Illegal Migration Bill are compatible with the Convention rights, but the Government nevertheless wishes the House to proceed with the Bill.”
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The Labour Government’s 2003 Communications Bill included the warning, because of bans on party political adverts during usual programming.
In 2012, the EU-loving Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg admitted that a Coalition bill to reform the House of Lords was incompatible with human rights law.
Mr Clegg was forced to admit that the breach with European Human Rights Law would occur thanks to the British ban on prisoner voting.
At the time, UK Human Rights Blog described the Tory-Lib Dem bill as being “incompatible with Parliament’s last major constitutional reform, the Human Rights Act.”
Despite Nick Clegg being responsible for trying to push through the House of Lords bill, Lib Dem MP Alastair Carmichael is among those criticising Suella Braverman’s move, even though he served as a Whip when the coalition Government was being accused of threatening to break human rights law.
Mr Carmichael tweeted: “A law that is designed to circumvent human rights laws and the ECHR is not one that is fit for purpose.”
Home Secretary Suella Braverman has insisted that the Government’s asylum plan is lawful, despite admitting her plan involves “pushing the boundaries of the law.”
This morning Mrs Braverman told the BBC she included the warning that the bill may not be compatible with ECHR rules “out of an abundance of caution.”
She continued, “We are confident that we are complying with the law, domestic and international.
“But we are also pushing the boundaries and we are testing innovative and novel legal arguments.”
A Labour spokesperson declined to comment.
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