Sir John Redwood warns House of Lords not to block migrant bill

John Redwood on plans for lifetime ban on Channel migrants

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Veteran Tory Brexiteer John Redwood has warned that the government’s new bill to stop small boats crossing the English Channel must be “lawyer proof” to survive the Remainer-stuffed House of Lords, and eventually the courts. He told TalkTV that the legislation must be “absolutely explicit” that it takes priority over any other law, to avoid it asking the Home Secretary to break international law.

Sir John said: “I think we need the law to be absolutely explicit that the law takes absolute priority over any other legal possibility.

“Otherwise, the law is saying to the Home Secretary ‘please break international law’, which would not be a good conflict of laws to generate.”

Redwood added that for the sake of certainty, and the sake of stopping the boats, the law must expressly say that individuals who made the crossing cannot use human rights defences.

The new bill is set to be unveiled in a statement to the House of Commons this lunchtime, with Home Secretary Suella Braverman telling The Daily Express that “we owe it to the British people” to deliver on the crisis. 

Braverman says “We must stop the boats and that’s what our bill will do.”

Despite the Home Secretary warning that Labour and others in the Commons will oppose the bill, John Redwood told Julia Hartley-Brewer he thinks “it will pass through the Commons very easily.”

He said: “I think Conservative MPs have been very united on wanting to tackle this problem. I hope their lordships and ladyships will also understand the urgency of this.

“We need to work hard on getting it through the Lords and that’s why I think we need to make absolutely sure it is lawyer-proof thereafter.

“Hence my suggestion that the bill should expressly say this piece of law takes precedence over any other legal measure when it comes to these small boats.”

This morning, former Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told Sky News that he’s had reassurances that the government isn’t seeking to break international law, which he welcomes. 

Mr Buckland said: “I’ve had assurances that the government isn’t seeking to break international law, that’s its obligation under the European Convention on Human Rights, the refugee convention.

“I think a lot of other countries in Europe and elsewhere are struggling with this problem and I think it would be a bit of a free-for-all for everybody to try and do their own thing in a way that is not coordinated.

“There has to be a proper process to allow genuine claimants, of which we get many into our country, to make their claims in a proper way.

“I’ll be looking very carefully to see in this new legislation whether there will still be those exceptions.”

Robert Buckland was responding to comments by Suella Braverman, in which she vowed to “push the boundaries of international law” to stop migrants entering the UK illegally.

The Home Secretary told The Daily Express, “myself and the Prime Minister have been working tirelessly to ensure we have a Bill that works – we’ve pushed the boundaries of international law to solve this crisis.”

“If you come here illegally it must be that you cannot stay.”

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Suella Braverman promised to combine the harsher rules on small boats with new safe routes for refugees, which would see numbers capped.

John Redwood told TalkTV he’d be in favour of a “generous cap” though he doesn’t have a specific number in mind. 

He said: “I don’t have a number in mind, I think it should be a reasonably generous cap for genuine asylum seekers.

“But I think people want to look at it in the round, with also all the permits given to people to come as economic migrants who greatly exceed the number of asylum seekers.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is set to spend the morning at a command centre, followed by a press conference at 5:30pm.

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