European Court Orders Britain to Halt Deportations

The U.K. was ordered this week to halt the deportation of a group of illegal aliens to Rwanda by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), prompting calls for Britain to comply with Brexit and remove itself from the court’s jurisdiction.

The ECHR canceled a flight organized by the British government to remove a small group of illegal boat migrants late Tuesday. The flight had already been delayed and modified several times by litigation inside the U.K.

An Iraqi migrant who claimed asylum inside the U.K. filed a last-minute appeal with the ECHR after his claim was turned down by the U.K. Supreme Court. The ECHR ruled that the Iraqi could not be deported until a judicial review of the British legal policy is completed. The court also found that the Iraqi would be endangered if sent to Rwanda, which is outside of ECHR jurisdiction.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration has never taken the U.K. out of the ECHR’s jurisdiction, even though Brexit commanded the nation to officially leave the European Union in 2020. The ECHR is not considered to be legally part of the EU. The ECHR is part of the Council of Europe.

Brexit leader Nigel Farage said on Wednesday that it is “time to leave the ECHR and finally complete Brexit.” He added that “left-wing lawyers now dictate our immigration policy.”

Farage acknowledged that leaving the ECHR will be a separate process, which he referred to as “Brexit 2.0,” adding that Johnson “didn’t do Brexit properly.” He went on to say that even though the ECHR is technically independent, it is in reality under the control of the EU and its “political activists.”

Longtime leader of the U.K. Conservative Party Sir Iain Duncan Smith described the ECHR as a “legal farce” after this week’s ruling. He said that if Britain has its own Bill of Rights it should not be constantly called into a European court over civil rights claims.

The ECHR order may prove to be of benefit to Johnson’s administration, as it can blame the outside entity for the continuing immigration problems the U.K. faces. Reports indicate that even without any intervention by the European court, Johnson’s government has deported only around 0.6% of the 28,000 illegal migrants who arrived in the country last year by way of boat.

Former leader of the far-left Labor Party Jeremy Corbyn said that the ECHR ruling is “very welcome” and serves as a “devastating blow” to the plan to deport illegal migrants.

The British government has been advised that up to 100,000 illegal migrants could reach the country’s shores this year. The number of illegals could be as many as twice the number who entered the U.K. last year.