Sunak criticised for saying border security more important than staying in European court of human rights

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Sunak criticised for saying border security is more important than staying in the European Court of Human Rights

Significantly less attention has been paid to what Rishi Sunak will choose to include in the Conservative party’s manifesto than to when he will announce the date of the general election. That makes sense—no one anticipates the Tory manifesto promises to be carried out. However, it will continue to influence policy discussions in the UK, and one major unanswered question is how it will address the UK’s withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

There are Tories who want Sunak to pledge to withdraw. One further option would be to suggest a referendum on withdrawing from the ECHR. Retaining withdrawal as a possibility would be the mildest course of action, contingent upon the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) decision to prevent deportations to Rwanda.

Considering there is only a 1% chance that Sunak would lead the next administration, his decision will not influence its policies. However, it will have some influence on whether or not the Conservative party is more closely aligned with Reform UK, and whether or not one nation’s Conservatives still feel secure in their party.

While maintaining that he can carry with his Rwandan policy without having to withdraw, PM Sunak has typically stated in interviews that he has not ruled out exiting the ECHR. He began stating he would “not allow a foreign court to block these flights” after the Rwanda plan was halted by the Supreme Court of the United States last year. However, that didn’t seem to be a reference to completely leaving the convention; rather, it looked to be a reference to being prepared to disregard ECtHR injunctions.

 

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