The Prime Minister is drawing up proposals to curb the use of such laws in areas where leftist judges have already “overreached” in preventing illegal alien fake refugees from being deported – risking explosive rows with the EU.
The SUN (h/t Thereza B) It is believed this would be to prevent illegal migrants avoiding deportation and to protect British soldiers from prosecution over overseas operations. It follows EU officials claiming Britain has broken international law by attempting to reassess the Withdrawal Agreement.
The Sunday Telegraph reports.
‘Britain is preparing to opt out of major parts of European human rights laws, risking an explosive new row with the EU.’
The Tory supporting paper explained:
‘Plans under discussion include opt outs of the Human Rights Act, which could prevent many migrants and asylum seekers from using the legislation to avoid deportation, and British soldiers against claims relating to overseas operations.’
The move could also protect British soldiers – like Sgt Alexander Blackman, known as Marine A – from claims against their overseas activities, it was reported.
It’s understood the Government will make an announcement in the coming weeks. The move is likely to provoke a major row with the EU, which has been demanding that the UK commits to keeping the act in place as the price of future “law enforcement cooperation”.
And reports that Britain will withdraw comes just days after the PM faced a major revolt over his decision to publish a new law which will override parts of the Northern Ireland deal.
EU leaders threatened to walk out of trade talks after Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis sensationally admitted in the House of Commons that the new legislation does break international law, but “only in a very specific and limited way.”
The change in plans has also proved unpopular with Tory MPs as senior Conservatives rebel – despite the PM’s warning that Brussels could “carve up our country” without his new bill.
The EU has given Mr Johnson until the end of the month to withdraw his proposals to override elements of the Withdrawal Agreement, with the bloc threatening legal action if he does not comply.
Discussions over the Human Right Act are now likely to prompt more division.
The Tory manifesto had pledged to “update” the Act after Brexit – but it’s proved controversial with negotiators in Brussels, who wanted a commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has accused Mr Johnson of “reigniting old rows” over Brexit instead of focusing on coronavirus. He said: “We should be getting on with defeating this virus, not banging on about Europe.
Mr Johnson’s most senior adviser Dominic Cummings has previously attacked the European Court of Human Rights for blocking the deportation of “dangerous” foreign criminals. And he has warned voters would expect the jurisdiction of European judges to end in the UK as part of the Brexit process.
If the scheme gets the go-ahead, it could protect servicemen like former Royal Marine Alexander Blackman, who was convicted of murdering a wounded Afghan insurgent in 2013. Sgt Blackmail was jailed for life after he shot dead a wounded Taliban fighter in Afghanistan. He was the first British serviceman convicted of murder on a foreign battlefield since the Second World War.