"Human rights” culture is now an active threat to the rule of law

- MELANIE PHILLIPS - JUN 15, 2022 -

Migrants in the English Channel, 2021

Boris Johnson's Rwanda deportation policy has descended into a circular farce.


The British government wanted to deport illegal asylum-seekers to Rwanda, under an agreement reached with that country. It intended to fly out the first such group yesterday.


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A succession of appeals by human rights lawyers had reduced the proposed number of deportees from 130 to seven. Last night, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg ruled against the removal of the migrants — who included an Iraqi, an Iranian, a Vietnamese and an Albanian — thus grounding the flight half an hour before it was due to leave.


Since the Rwanda policy was largely an attempt to escape the trap imposed by the European Convention on Human Rights to which the UK is a signatory, the loudest sound from the court’s ruling last night was the trap snapping shut.


The government devised this desperate and inherently absurd Rwanda gambit because it had found it impossible to stop the trade in people-smuggling that has brought thousands of illegal asylum-seekers across the English Channel in a steady stream of inflatables and other profoundly un-seaworthy craft. These have regularly capsized and caused many drownings.


As The Times reports (£), an estimated 400 migrants arrived in small boats yesterday, taking the total who have crossed the Channel this year to more than 10,500 — triple the number that had arrived by this time last year.


All attempts to stop this traffic have failed, including intercepting boats to return them to France (migrants threatened to drown themselves, requiring rescue under international law), paying the French to take them back and pressuring France to shut down the tented encampments of immigrants waiting to cross the Channel.


These attempts have failed for one overwhelming reason. Britain is the greatest magnet in the world for illegal immigrants because Britain is where they know they will not only be able to receive welfare benefits and not be harassed by the police or other authorities but also, and most important, they will never be sent back.

And the reason for that is in large measure the European Convention on Human Rights, which made it illegal for them to be deprived of benefits or sent away because of its clauses enshrining the right to family life and other entitlements. The convention has similarly made all but impossible other attempts over the years to control immigration or remove terrorist sympathisers and others deemed to be a threat to the state.


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The government understands very well that it needs to stop Britain being such a magnet. But the reason it resorted to the Rwanda option is because it refuses to confront the reason Britain is a magnet in the first place — that it is the softest touch in the world for illegal migration and human trafficking because it has shackled itself to the Human Rights Convention.


As I have repeatedly written, it is obvious that Britain cannot control its own borders and immigration policy as long as it remains a signatory to the convention. Attempts to draw its sting by home-grown human rights laws (the government is promising yet another such attempt in a new bill of rights) will always founder while the final court of appeal remains the ECHR.


Any suggestion that Britain should leave the convention (hinted at by Boris Johnson yesterday, but don’t hold your breath) is always met with hysterical fury from human rights lawyers and liberals signed up to the notion that human rights exist only in the legal no-man’s land of international law. Leaving the convention, they cry, would tell the world that Britain has torn up human rights.


This is ridiculous. Britain is the crucible of liberty precisely because rights were never previously codified. In Britain’s historic legal culture, everything was permitted unless it was prohibited.


LEIA MAIS >

https://melaniephillips.substack.com/p/britains-deportation-farce?s=r


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