Tory MPs have warned the Lords not to block the “best chance yet to stop the boats”. The Home Secretary will be given powers to disregard injunctions from the European Court of Human Rights – called Rule 39 orders – under new legislation.
But the Government was last night told the House of Lords will block the Bill, leading to another bitter battle between ministers and the Second Chamber.
And Richard Atkinson, the deputy vice-president of the Law Society of England and Wales, said he was concerned the UK was heading towards a “clear and serious breach of international law”.
Tory MP Jonathan Gullis, who has been pressing the Government to ensure the ECHR cannot ground deportation flights, said: “The Prime Minister has rightly taken on the legal establishment to deliver a Bill that gives us the best chance yet to stop the boats.
“Their Lordships should think carefully before seeking to overrule the will of the public as put forward by their elected representatives.”
PM Rishi Sunak was also facing a fresh headache last night as former leaders Theresa May and Sir Iain Duncan Smith launched a bid to exempt human trafficking victims from the small boats law.
Tory MPs have tabled changes to the Illegal Migration Bill to ensure forced deportation flights can take off. Home Secretary Suella Braverman had been unable to indicate when the first promised flights to Rwanda will go as the policy is being fought in the courts.
But the she is expected to be given “discretion” to ignore Strasbourg injunctions, used at the European Court of Human Rights last June to ground the first flight to Rwanda.
As well as giving ministers powers to block last-minute Rule 39 orders from the ECHR, ministers will also vow to introduce new safe and legal routes within six months.
Ministers had previously indicated they will only introduce pathways for asylum seekers once illegal migration is under control.
However legal critic Mr Atkinson said disregarding the ECHR would harm the UK.
He said: “The rule of law means governments respect and follow domestic and international law and disputes are ruled on by independent courts.
“This amendment would undermine the global rules-based order, set a dangerous precedent in the international community and damage the UK’s standing.”
“If you come into our country illegally you will be detained, processed in days and weeks, not months and years, and you will be removed, either back home, if it is safe, or to a safe third country.
“I’m very confident we have strong support from Conservative members of Parliament.
“And as soon as we do get it through, we will be putting it into action, so we can secure the borders and give the British public the fair and robust asylum system they want and deserve.”
The High Court heard the Home Office is predicting at least 56,000 migrants will cross the Channel this year. Last year, 28,526 migrants reached the UK.