Prime minister Rishi Sunak could be heading on a collision course with lawyers after announcing plans to end 'spurious' asylum claims and appeals to frustrate deportations.
In a statement to the House of Commons today on illegal migration, Sunak said the country’s laws, as well as the asylum system, needed fundamental reform.
He said: ‘We must be able to control our borders to ensure that the only people who come here come through safe and legal routes. However well intended, our legal frameworks are being manipulated by people who exploit our courts to frustrate their removal for months or years on end.
‘Mr Speaker, I said enough is enough… and I mean it. And that means I am prepared to do what must be done. So early next year we will introduce new legislation to make unambiguously clear that if you enter the UK illegally you should not be able to remain here. Instead, you will be detained and swiftly returned either to your home country or to a safe country where your claim for asylum will be considered.
‘And you will no longer be able to frustrate removal attempts with late or spurious claims or appeals. And once removed you should have no right to re-entry, settlement, or citizenship.’
Sunak also confirmed that he will restart flights to Rwanda once judicial review proceedings on the government’s controversial Migration and Economic Development Partnership has concluded.
The threshold for someone to be considered a modern slave will also be raised, he said: caseworkers will be required to have 'objective evidence', not just a suspicion.
It is unclear whether the new legislation will sit alongside, replace or be included in the proposed Bill of Rights Bill, which is currently awaiting a second reading in the House of Commons.
A Law Society spokesperson said: 'Law Society members will want to hear that the proposed new legislation protects access to justice and meets the UK's obligations under international law. We will be keen to see the detail when it's published in the New Year.'
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