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Braverman won't be given 'carte blanche' to ignore meddling European court, Dowden says


Suella Braverman will not be handed “carte blanche” to ignore interventions from European judges blocking the deportation of migrants, the Deputy Prime Minister has said.

Oliver Dowden said amendments to the Illegal Migration Bill will give the Home Secretary “discretion” to consider the “timeliness” and “transparency” of Rule 39 orders from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

The so-called “pyjama injunctions” were used at the 11th hour by a European judge to ground the inaugural deportation flight taking asylum seekers to Rwanda last year.

The senior Conservative MP told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: “The Home Secretary will be given a discretion and ability to look at the circumstances of that order from the ECHR and will, for example, cover factors such as the timeliness of the imposition of the order – so, for example, if it is done at last minute – and also the transparency of it.”

Pressed on whether the amendments would allow Britain to ignore ECHR rulings, Mr Dowden added: “There will be a Section 39 discretion.

“Now, I’m not saying that will give the Home Secretary carte blanche to overrule rulings.

“What I would say is that we are engaging very closely with the European court, we are making very good progress.

“I think it is right that the Home Secretary should have a discretion, so, for example, we don’t have this situation where at the very last minute an order is imposed.

“Those are the kind of factors the Home Secretary will be able to consider.”

Ms Braverman on Friday laid amendments to the Illegal Migration Bill designed to make it more difficult for domestic and international courts to have a say in how the UK Government controls the country’s borders.

The Home Secretary today described her plans to stand in the way of European judges being able to block the deportations of those arriving via small boats as a “crucial power”.

With the controversial legislation due to return to Parliament next week, she urged MPs to bring the Bill “into force as soon as possible so we can stop the boats”.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, the Cabinet minister said that for Britain to be “truly sovereign” it needed to be able to “decide who enters our territory and on what terms”.

One of the changes the Home Secretary wants to make to the Bill, which is aimed at preventing migrants from crossing the English Channel on small boats and crushing the human trafficking trade, is that ministers would be able to decide whether or not to accept a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

The move is being seen as a concession to right-leaning Conservative backbenchers who had lobbied the Government to toughen up the legislation.

Mrs Braverman said: “Our Bill will now give ministers a broad discretion whether to comply with interim measures in individual cases. This is a crucial power.

“At the same time, we are continuing to engage in constructive dialogue with Strasbourg on possible reforms to their process around interim measures.”



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