Anti-Asylum Bill: Attack on ECHR an attack on all our rights

This week, the Government’s anti-asylum Illegal Migration Bill will have its final reading in the House of Commons, where MPs will vote on a new amendment that will allow Ministers to ignore rulings by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Last week, the Prime Minister gave into demands from the Tory right to amend the Bill so ministers would have the power to ignore ECHR interim rulings, also known as Rule 39 orders, which have blocked deportations in previous cases.

Campaigners have warned that the move threatens the rights and freedoms of everyone in the UK as it sets the precedent of allowing Ministers to “ignore the rule of law”. All citizens of the UK are currently granted protection under the ECHR.

Other provisions added to the Bill, such as medical checks to determine the ages of people seeking asylum, have been slammed by campaigners as cruel and impractical. Last year, several child asylum seekers alleged that Border Force officials pressured them to falsely submit claims as adults.

The amendments added to the Bill have added even more criticism to the widespread condemnation of the Bill from politicians, activists, and campaigners across the political spectrum. Yesterday, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission warned that the Bill would conflict with the UK’s international obligations to safeguard human rights.

Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith said:

"The government that damaged livelihoods, crippled businesses and tore families apart through Brexit are now coming for our rights and freedoms by giving ministers power to ignore the rule of law.

“The ECHR protects the rights of everyone in the UK. Undermining it will have repercussions far beyond anything the government can foresee."