Jonathan Gullis: “My Bill today was about ensuring that it’s Parliament that should decide British laws. Not foreign judges.”
A Tory MP’s attempt to persuade Rishi Sunak to disobey ECHR judgments on deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda failed today. Jonathan Gullis’ Asylum Seekers (Removal to Safe Countries) Bill was rejected by 188 to 69 votes, with the government abstaining.
67 Conservative MPs, including former home secretary Priti Patel, supported Mr. Gullis’ bid to bypass Strasbourg. Boris Johnson supported it, but he didn’t vote today since he’s at a wedding in Italy. Sir Keir Starmer’s vote against the Bill angered Mr. Gullis.
“My Bill today was about ensuring that it’s Parliament that should decide British laws. Not foreign judges,” the Stoke-on-Trent North MP told Express.co.uk
“Sadly, the leopard hasn’t changed his spots, and Starmer has yet again sided with foreign bureaucrats over the will of the people.”
“For all Labour’s tough talk on immigration, they are still more focused on appeasing judges in Strasbourg than taking the tough decisions to restore our territorial integrity.”
Private bills rarely become law. 10-minute rule motions are rarely contested to and generally pass without discussion.
“Whilst we may have freed ourselves from EU control, we still have a quasi-legislative supranational institution that fundamentally undermines decisions made in our democratically elected and sovereign Parliaments,” Gullis added. “That is why I’m introducing my Bill to the House today .”
Mr. Gullis claimed his suggestions would enable illegal migrants to go to Rwanda and other safe nations to have their claims reviewed.
He said, “Thereby changing the law to explicitly ignore the European Court of Human Rights from meddling in our sovereignty on this specific matter.
“This Bill is about demonstrating that Parliament is on the side of the British public in restoring our great nation’s territorial integrity.”
Ms. Patel inked a “world-first” deal to deport migrants to Rwanda in April. The first deportation flight to East Africa was scheduled for June 14, but legal issues delayed it. The legitimacy of the programme has been questioned in court, with a judgement likely on Monday.
The government is under pressure to control channel crossings. More than 44,000 individuals have fled France this year. The PM launched a 5-point strategy to combat illegal immigration yesterday.
“You heard from the Prime Minister in the House, we believe we can introduce this (Government) legislation, which will be in line with approaches taken by a number of other countries,” the Prime Minister’s official spokeswoman said. “These removal processes are well established in international law .”
The official said the government is sure it can diverge from the ECHR without violating international law. “I think we remain confident that we can do this within our international obligations,” she said. “We do not believe it’s necessary to remove the ECHR to implement this.”
Mr Sunak said, “Our new legislation will deliver a system whereby a person who comes here illegally will have no right to stay and will be removed to their own country or a safe third-country alternative.”