The Government “is going to make robust arguments before the Supreme Court and will be applying for permission later today,” Attorney General Victoria Prentis has said.
Proposals by Rishi Sunak’s administration to send migrants to Rwanda were dealt another blow recently after the Court of Appeal found it was unlawful, although the Government intends to challenge this ruling.
Raising the issue of the compatibility of the Illegal Migration Bill with the European Convention on Human Rights, SNP Chris Stephens (Glasgow South West) called on the Attorney General to “ensure that the Cabinet listens and then acts on those recommendations”.
He said: “The United Nations High Commissioner gave evidence to the Court of Appeal advising the court on matters concerning international refugee law, which ultimately contributed to the Bill being found to be unlawful.
“The recommendations included co-operation with EU neighbours and fair and fast asylum procedures and for those to be more humane, efficient and cost effective.
“Will the Attorney General ensure that the Cabinet listens and then acts on those recommendations?”
Responding during Commons Attorney General questions, Ms Prentis said: “As the (he) knows, I’m bound by the Law Officers’ convention not only not to talk about advice that I give to Cabinet colleagues, but even to reveal whether or not such advice has been given.”
She added: “The Government is disappointed in the recent outcome of the case before the Court of Appeal and will seek permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.
“The Court of Appeal did say that the policy of removal to a safe third country could be compatible and it did not disturb the finding of the High Court that Rwanda is safe, though the majority did find – was concerned about the possibility of onward removal from Rwanda.
“The Government is going to make robust arguments before the Supreme Court and will be applying for permission later today.”
Ministers say action is needed to stop migrants making the dangerous sea crossing but critics argue the draft legislation breaks international law and denies refuge to the most vulnerable.
Peers on Wednesday inflicted a total of 20 defeats against the Government’s controversial plans to tackle the small boats crisis.
The tally of setbacks for the Tory frontbench mounted after the unelected House of Lords imposed a series of further changes to the Illegal Migration Bill.