George Osborne Says Withdrawing From ECHR Would Be 'A Disaster' For The Tory Party
George Osborne had a warning for Rishi Sunak
Withdrawing from the European Convention of Human Rights would be “a disaster” for the Tory Party, according to George Osborne.
The former chancellor spoke out as Rishi Sunak faces a backbench rebellion from Conservatives who want to toughen up the government’s plan to stop small boats carrying asylum seekers from crossing the English Channel.
Dozens of Conservative MPs are backing an amendment to the Illegal Migration Bill which would prevent European judges from blocking the government’s attempts to deport those who enter the UK by illegal routes.
Justice secretary Dominic Raab has also hinted that he could support British withdrawal from the ECHR.
But appearing on the Andrew Neil Show on Channel 4, Osborne condemned the rebel Tories.
He said: “They’re suggesting that Britain should pull out of the European Convention on Human Rights. To my mind that’s a disaster for the Tory Party if it gets itself down that rabbit hole.
“It’s never going to happen. Things like the Good Friday Agreement are tied up with our membership of it ... so it’s a complete red herring.
“It’s not actually got anything to do with solving the problem. One thing we’ve learnt from Brexit is you don’t solve your immigration problems by pulling out of international agreements.”
‘It would be a disaster for the Tory Party.’
With a backbench rebellion brewing on the government’s Small Boats Bill @George_Osborne tells @AFNeil that leaving the ECHR would be a ‘disaster,' and a ‘complete red herring’#AndrewNeilShow 3.15pm pic.twitter.com/taZm6STLh4
— Channel 4 (@Channel4) March 26, 2023
Under the bill, which Sunak unveiled earlier this month, ministers would have the power to deport anyone who comes to the UK illegally.
However, home secretary Suella Braverman has conceded that it may not be compatible with the ECHR.
In a letter to MPs, she said: “Our approach is robust and novel, which is why I’ve made a statement under Section 19(1)(b) of the Human Rights Act 1998.
“This does not mean that the provisions in the bill are incompatible with the Convention rights, only that there is a more [than] 50% chance that they may not be.
“We are testing the limits but remain confident that this bill is compatible with international law.”