The home secretary has told Sky News the government’s new plan to stop small boat migrants arriving in the UK is “not breaking the law”.
Suella Braverman said she is “very confident” the measures announced on Tuesday “are in compliance with our international law obligations”.
The government revealed its new plan to stop migrants entering the UK on small boats, which includes the majority of those arriving being detained within the first 28 days without bail or judicial review.
Under the plans, migrants coming on small boats would be unable to make claims to stop deportation until they have been removed.
They will also be banned from claiming UK settlement, citizenship or re-entering the UK if they are removed.
The bill has come under severe criticism from opposition MPs and refugee charities, with Amnesty International saying the plans would “amount to an asylum ban”
Labor described the bill as a “con” that was no more likely to be successful than prior Tory efforts to tackl small boat migration across the Channel.
But Ms Braverman told Sky News’ Kay Burley at Breakfast: “We’re not breaking the law and no government representative has said we’re breaking the law.
“In fact, we’ve made it very clear that we believe we are in compliance with all of our international obligations, for example, the Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights, other conventions to which we are subject.
“But what’s important is that we do need to take compassionate but necessary and fair measures.
“Now, because there are people who are dying to try and get here. They are breaking our laws. They are abusing the generosity of the British people.”
Ms Braverman’s insistence comes despite a statement by her on the first page of the published bill, which says: “I am unable to make a statement that, in my view, the provisions of the Illegal Migration Bill are compatible with the Convention rights, but the government nevertheless wishes the House to proceed with the bill.”
And in a letter to Conservative MPs and peers urging them to back the bill, Ms Braverman insisted that “does not mean the provisions in the bill are incompatible” with the Human Rights Act.
“Only that there is a more 50% chance that they may not be,” the letter said.
“We are testing the limits but remain confident that this bill is compatible with international law.”