Time to tear up the Human Rights Act, Tory MPs tell Boris Johnson

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The Common Sense Group, with more than 60 Parliamentarians, has written to the Prime Minister and his new Justice Secretary Dominic Raab and Attorney General Suella Braverman demanding a change in the law after a summer where thousands of illegal migrants have crossed the English Channel in small boats. It comes as backbench MPs have warned that the channel migrants are threatening seats across Labour’s former red wall.

Dudley North MP Marco Longhi, the first Conservative MP in the history of the constituency, told the Sunday Express: “The issue is completely toxic. It comes up on the door steps all the time.

“There is a danger that if we lose voters on this to parties like Reclaim or Reform then Labour will come through the middle and win back the seats because our vote is split.”

Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith said: “We get more comments on this than any other issue and this has been the case for well over a year. 

“The worst part being they are from people who support us normally or who supported us for the first time in 2019. Goes against the narrative of taking back control of immigration after Brexit.”

Tory MPs believe they have support from Home Secretary Priti Patel but fear that Downing Street is preventing her from taking “decisive action” on the issue which would include replacing the Human Rights Act.

Mr Raab, who became Justice Secretary this week, and Ms Braverman, the government’s senior legal figure, have also both been supporters of scrapping the Human Rights Act in the past.

The letter sent on behalf of the Common Sense Group by its chairman Sir John Hayes to the Prime Minister said: “The Common Sense Group shares your frustration at the seemingly endless series of illegal Channel crossings, and welcomes the Government’s determination to take whatever steps necessary to curb them. 

“The rallying cry ‘take back control; inspired millions of Britons to free our nation from the clutches of the intrusive, power-hungry European Union. So, you will understand that our voters are increasingly impatient that Britain’s borders, far from being within our control, seem more porous than ever.

“Our concern is that the institutional barrier of the Human Rights Act continues to act as a bulwark against meaningful reform leading to decisive action. A subversive legacy of Tony Blair’s Government, the Human Rights Act has had a frustrating effect well beyond its supposed merits, with subsequent Prime Ministers and Home Secretaries having their efforts to tackle illegal immigration stymied by this obstructive, outdated legislation.”

They warned that the Human Rights Act gives institutional standing to the rulings made by a foreign court.

They want it replaced by a British Bill of Rights which would be simpler and could prevent activist lawyers from deporting foreign criminals and illegal migrants.

The letter added: “With a large majority and brave Brexiteers at the helm of the Justice Department and as the Government’s principal law officer, there can be no better opportunity to tackle this hangover from the politics of yesteryear.”

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