Tories on brink of civil war in furious row over out of date migrant treaty

Robert Jenrick says ECHR isn’t working

Tory MPs have wasted little time in once again rounding on the Government over the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Tories’ ongoing feud about the top treaty, which many see as preventing the UK from controlling its borders, had more fuel poured on the fire today, as MPs returned to debate the summer’s events on the Channel.

Two senior Tory MPs – Sir Bill Cash and David Jones – pressed the Government to go much further in opposing the treaty where it gets in the way of solving the migrant crisis.

David Jones said that now is the time for the Government to make an approach to the Council of Europe to demand a renegotiation of the terms of the ECHR.

He said it is “quite clearly not protecting our borders, nor is it protecting the borders of many other countries across Europe.”

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Sir Bill Cash also said changes must be made, though did claim they could be achieved without having to withdraw from the treaty altogether.

“It’s not necessary to abolish the entire ECHR in these circumstances regarding the issue of illegal immigration, you can tailor legislation if a supreme court case were to go the wrong way, by using the notwithstanding formula and tailoring it to the specific requirements that are needed”.

He said this strategy would be “limited but extremely effective”.

In words certain to rile the left of the Conservative Party, Home Office Minister Robert Jenrick blasted the treaty and said it appears “out of date” with the current crises facing Europe.

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He told the Commons: “The framework of international treaties – many of which were forged in the years after the Second World War – now appear out of date with the challenges we face today, and that is a common sentiment shared by other European countries who we have been working closely with”.

Mr Jenrick also claimed other European countries are “looking intently” at what the UK is doing to tackle the migrant crisis, many with an eye to following suit if successful.

He predicted that other European countries would also initiate deportation agreements with third countries like Rwanda if the UK’s supreme court case proves successful next month.

His words about international human rights treaties looking “out of date” is sure to spark both fury and support within the Tory Party.

On Saturday the centrist Tory Reform Group (TRG) urged the PM not to withdraw or derogate from the ECHR for the sake of Rwanda.

The centrist Tories warned that the Government would risk the Northern Ireland peace process, as well as its reputation and ability to bring criminals to justice by withdrawing from the treaty.

However up to a third of Mr Sunak’s Cabinet are believed to back withdrawing from the ECHR, including Home Secretary Suella Braverman.

Nearly 70 backbench Tory MPs backed a vote in the Commons last year calling on Britain to quit the convention.

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