Liz Truss refuses to end ties with foreign court which blocked Rwanda deportation flights

Joanna Cherry clashes with Truss on UK's ECHR 'threats'

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Ms Truss was challenged over whether Britain would continue to be a member of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) by SNP MP Joanna Cherry, a leading Rejoiner and lawyer in Scotland, during Foreign Office questions.

But the Foreign Secretary refused to rule out the move amid growing anger over what many Tory MPs believe to be a “politically motivated” court which is unaccountable.

In fiery exchanges, Ms Cherry demanded that Ms Truss ruled out leaving the ECHR.

She said: “When I led the joint committee on human rights to Strasbourg last week were repeatedly told that threats by the UK to withdraw from or even disengage from the European Convention of Human Rights risk giving succour to Eastern European states including Russia who don’t have the same respect for human rights and the rule of law as the UK has historically had.

“So will he tell the Prime Minister to tone down his veiled threats to the convention and her more excitable backbenchers to back off?”

Ms Truss though slapped down the question highlighting how the UK has led the way with Russia.

The Foreign secretary replied: “I honestly thought the Honourable lady would welcome the fact that the UK led in kicking Russia out of the Council of Europe and holding them to account.”

But she did not make any comment on the UK’s continued involvement with the ECHR.

It comes after the Prime Minister acknowledged that the UK could withdraw after the court overturned the UK’s Supreme Court and blocked a flight to Rwanda of illegal immigrants.

The ECHR did not hold an oral hearing and has not even published the name of the judge or judges who made the decision.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, who is trying to break the human traffickers business model by relocating asylum seekers in Rwanda, described the decision as “scandalous.”

There is a big push among Tory MPs to also end the UK’s relationship with the ECHR.

The influential Common Sense Group of more than 50 MPs, which was founded on the issue of controlling immigration, has contacted ministers to demand an end.

It is understood though that there is a split among ministers on what to do.

Ms Patel and Attorney General Suella Braverman are understood to prefer to sever relations with the ECHR while Justice secretary Dominic Raab, who is in the process of writing a British Bill of Rights, is said to prefer a compromise solution of giving UK courts supremacy over the one in Strasbourg.


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The Government is trying to stop the flow of thousands of illegal migrants coming over the English Channel in small boats.

Many end up in sweat shops or forced prostitution in modern day slavery.

They are trafficked by people smugglers who use the trade in human cargo to fund organised crime and terrorism.

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