Suella Braverman admits her Immigration Bill may not be legal

The government unveiled its new proposals yesterday


Home Secretary Suella Braverman has admitted that the government’s new Illegal Immigration Bill, designed to crack down on small boat crossings, may not be legal.

It comes after the government unveiled its new proposals yesterday, which place a legal duty on the Home Secretary to remove migrants who arrive in the country illegally. They will be swiftly sent to their home country if it is deemed safe, or to a safe third country such as Rwanda, where they will be “supported to rebuild their lives”, the Home Office said.

Under the new legislation, all those who arrive illegally will be declared inadmissible to stay. The new duty on the Home Secretary to remove illegal immigrants takes precedence over their rights under modern slavery and human rights laws. The new legislation also means that people who come to the UK illegally will be prevented from settling in the country and will face a permanent ban on returning.

The bill has already been condemned by human rights groups as well as the UN. Now Huffpost has seen a letter from Braverman to MPs in which she admits that parts of her plan to stop small boats might be “incompatible” with the European Convention on Human Rights.

In her letter to MPs, Braverman said: “Our approach is robust and novel, which is why I’ve made a statement under Section 19(1)(b) of the Human Rights Act 1998.

“This does not mean that the provisions in the bill are incompatible with the Convention rights, only that there is a more [than] 50% chance that they may not be.

“We are testing the limits but remain confident that this bill is compatible with international law.”

Sunak has vowed to clamp down on migrant crossings, yet the Tories have not set out how their plan will work in practice.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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