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South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss throws weight behind amendments to Government’s Rwanda bill

Liz Truss has thrown her weight behind amendments to the Government’s Rwanda Bill to ensure that the new law “genuinely succeeds in stopping the boats of illegal migrants” landing on UK shores.

The amendments, tabled by MPs including former immigration minister Robert Jenrick and former Home Secretary Suella Braverman, seek to end the legal challenges blocking the removal of illegal migrants from the country.

The Government’s own legal team found the Bill, as currently drafted, was “seriously impeded” by failing to close off most routes of individual legal challenge.

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss has thrown her weight behind alterations being made to the Government’s Rwanda bill
South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss has thrown her weight behind alterations being made to the Government’s Rwanda bill

The amendments that Ms Truss, the South West Norfolk MP, is backing are designed to close off the vast majority of existing loopholes and routes to legal challenge by illegal migrants.

There would be a few exceptions, such as when a migrant is genuinely medically unfit to fly or when they are under 18.

Ms Truss said: “We have told the British people time and again that we intend to crack down on illegal migration yet keep being thwarted by a range of spurious legal loopholes being exploited by activist lawyers.

“It is essential that the legislation we are passing is watertight and closes all those possible loopholes, which is why I am backing this raft of amendments.”

In November, the UK Supreme Court ruled the Government’s Rwanda plan was unlawful because of the risk that asylum seekers sent there could subsequently be returned to their home countries, where it is believed they could face harm.

The amendments Ms Truss is backing would guarantee that so-called Rule 39 indications from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg cannot ground flights, as was the case for the first attempted flight to Rwanda in June 2022, by ensuring the default position is that Rule 39 indications are not treated as binding on the Government.

The amendments take into consideration formal legal advice from leading constitutional and international lawyers, led by John Larkin KC, which Ms Truss believes shows that they meet the Government’s legality test of having a “respectable legal argument”, and therefore do not breach international law.

The Government originally planned to kick-start the Rwanda plan from the start of 2022. However, due to a number of legal issues, not one person caught entering the UK illegally has been sent there yet.

Ms Truss has joined colleagues such as Suella Braverman, Robert Jenrick, Iain Duncan Smith and Jacob Rees-Mogg in backing the changes.

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