Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023


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UK needs to withdraw from ‘completely outdated’ ECHR after Rwanda ruling

3 min read

Widdecombe says 'We cannot have interference' from ECHR

The Court of Appeal ruling that the Conservative Party’s Rwanda asylum seeker deportation scheme is “unlawful” has led to renewed calls for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to withdraw the UK from the  European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

This was the second time human rights laws have blocked the Rwanda plan, and Conservative MP Danny Kruger has claimed that if the UK fails to renegotiate with Strasbourg, the Government should “unilaterally withdraw” from the international convention.

The New Conservatives member explained: “The Rwanda judgment is very disappointing. Following the decision [last] week to abandon the planned Bill of Rights Bill, the Government should seek to renegotiate the ECHR with our allies or, failing that, unilaterally withdraw and replace the ECHR with a new human rights framework.”

He added that the Government should “immediately secure whatever changes to Rwanda’s asylum system are needed to satisfy the court, and urgently appeal the decision at the Supreme Court”.

The UK signed the Convention in 1951, guaranteeing people’s fundamental human rights in law for the first time. Yet a new Express.co.uk poll has found almost three-quarters of readers agree with Mr Kruger that the UK should consider withdrawing.

READ MORE: Sunak faces ultimatum to stop European court blocking Rwanda deportation flights

In a poll that ran from 2.30pm on Monday, July 2, to 8am on Wednesday, July 5, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Should the UK ‘unilaterally withdraw’ from the ECHR?”

Overall, 17,665 votes were cast with the vast majority of readers, 74 percent (13,131 people), answering “yes” the UK should leave. Whereas 25 percent (4,462 people) said “no” and just 72 people said they did not know.

Hundreds of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on the UK’s future with the ECHR.

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The majority of readers were in favour of the UK leaving the ECHR, with username freetrade writing that it is now “completely outdated”.

Similarly, username lordhorationelson said: “It is well out of date and not fit for purpose, the UK should have its own bill of human rights, not the ECHR.”

Username kennyk1000 agreed, commenting: “The European Court now works against us despite all the good we have done so it is definitely time we went our own way. We are big enough to write our own policies and procedures.”

And username J one added: “The ECHR needs to be gone from the UK and a new British bill of rights put in its place.”

Conservative MP Simon Clarke thought that the ruling was “deeply disappointing”, and said: “We have to be able to control our borders. If the ECHR continues to forestall this, we have to revisit the question of our membership.”

But a minority of readers thought that the UK should remain in the ECHR, with username gunnar warning “we would be a laughing stock” if we left.

Likewise, username WildWallaby said it would be “another nail in the coffin of the UK’s reputation and international standing”.

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