‘Time to Complete Brexit,’ Attorney General Says After ECHR Grounded UK Deportation Flight to Rwanda

By Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou is a freelance writer mostly covering UK news for The Epoch Times.
June 19, 2022 Updated: June 19, 2022

Attorney General Suella Braverman on Saturday said she has “significant reservations” about the UK’s relationship with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

She said it’s “time to complete Brexit and let the British people decide who can and cannot stay in our country.”

Her comment came after the European court effectively grounded a British flight deporting illegal immigrants to Rwanda.

The UK government in April signed a deal to relocate some illegal immigrants, including asylum seekers who arrived in the UK illegally, to Rwanda, where they will be granted asylum or be given other opportunities to remain.

But its first deportation flight was grounded on Tuesday after the ECHR granted last-minute interim measures covering three people who were due to be on the flight.

The Daily Express on Saturday quoted Braverman as saying: “This is still a topic being discussed in government but I have significant reservations about our relationship with the European Court of Human Rights. In the EU referendum, the British people voted to take back control of our laws, they are rightly baffled why our immigration controls can still be blocked by European judges.”

“It’s time to complete Brexit and let the British people decide who can and cannot stay in our country,” she said.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has previously described the court’s decision as politically motivated, while Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said it was wrong for the injunction to be granted.

The ECHR is part of the Council of Europe, with a remit to protect human rights, and has nothing to do with the European Union.

The Rwanda row has led to calls from some Tory MPs to pull out of the European Convention on Human Rights, the document interpreted by the court in Strasbourg.

Raab has said the UK would stay within the convention but new laws could ensure that interim measures from the Strasbourg court could effectively be ignored by the UK government.

The government plans to replace the Human Rights Act, which enshrines the convention in domestic law, with a new Bill of Rights.

Ongoing court battles have created uncertainty over when any further attempts to fly illegal immigrants to the African country will be made, although Patel has previously said the government “will not be deterred from doing the right thing, we will not be put off by the inevitable last-minute legal challenges.”

Chris Summers and PA Media contributed to this report.

Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou is a freelance writer mostly covering UK news for The Epoch Times.