Robert Jenrick vows to do ‘whatever is required’ to deliver Rwanda including leaving ECHR | Politics | News

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Robert Jenrick today vowed to do “whatever is required” to sort the small boats crisis.

The immigration minister was asked about reports the Tories could campaign to leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) at the next election if the Rwanda policy continues to be blocked.

Mr Jenrick told Times Radio: “Well, firstly, we are confident that we will win in the Supreme Court. We believe our arguments are strong and we’re going to contest that very vigorously.

“I thought it was extremely interesting and important that in the Court of Appeal, all three judges who opined on the case confirmed that the principle of one country such as the UK working with another, such as Rwanda on an asylum policy, is lawful, is in accordance with our international law obligations such as under the Refugee Convention and so on.

“The most important international law question, we were found to be acting lawfully. Of course, some of the judges did raise other queries about concerns about the arrangements put in place, which we hope we can overcome and will be contesting in the Supreme Court.

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“But on the on the broader point of will the Government do whatever is necessary to tackle this issue?

“Well, I think you can see from the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary and myself, our total commitment to this challenge.

“That’s why we’re working on every possible front. That’s why we have produced the most comprehensive plan, I believe, of any European country to tackle this issue.

“And we’ll do whatever is necessary ultimately to defend our borders and to bring order to our asylum system.”

Pressed on if that includes leaving the ECHR, he added: “Well, we we will do whatever is required, take whatever necessary action is needed.

“But the point I think I’ve tried to make to you is that we’re very confident that the arrangements that we’ve put in place with Rwanda are in accordance with our international law obligations.

“And I take heart from the fact that the courts so far have broadly agreed with that.

“And I hope that the Supreme Court will enable us to move forward with our Rwanda partnership later this year, at the beginning of next year.

“That’s what the British public want to see, is we need to instil into this process a core deterrent.

“And that’s what the Rwanda plan does. It fundamentally breaks the business model of the people smugglers in a way which no other European country, frankly, has been able to do thus far. We want to be the first country to do that.

“Building on the work that other nations like Australia have done in the recent past and that that will be a game changer in tackling this challenge.”

The ECHR sets out the rights of 47 member states and is overseen by the European Court of Human Rights.

The Strasbourg court sparked fury when it stopped the first flight carrying illegal migrants to Rwanda from taking off from the tarmac last year in an 11th-hour intervention.

The controversial policy has continued to be stalled by legal challenges that will end in the Supreme Court.

Elsewhere, Mr Jenrick warned asylum seekers there was not an “a la carte menu” of accommodation choices after some resisted moving from expensive hotels to the Bibby Stockholm barge.

He said: “We offer support to those people who claim to be destitute, who say they have absolutely no way of supporting themselves. That is a legal obligation that the Government has.

“But we do so on a no-choice basis – there is not a menu of options whereby you can choose which hotel or location you would prefer.”

The Home Office minister defended outspoken Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson after he told migrants complaining about being moved to the giant barge to “f*** off back to France”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “What he was expressing was the deep frustration of a large body of the British public at the present situation. They want us to stop the boats.”

Mr Jenrick also told GB News a new deal the UK has struck with Turkey to crack down on illegal immigration would allow the countries to “work together to smash the gangs and tackle the manufacture and transport of boats and engines through Turkey into Europe so we can really get a grip on this crisis”.

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