A new poll has found more people support the idea of the UK leaving the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) than remaining in it.
The People Polling poll for GB News comes on the third anniversary of the UK exiting the EU.
When people were asked if they’d back leaving the ECHR to have better control over who comes in and out of the country, 38% said they agreed, and 32% disagreed – a net difference of six points.
Thirty per cent said they “didn’t know” or “preferred not to say”.
Among Conservative voters, 68% think the UK should leave the ECHR whereas 66% of Labour voters disagreed.
Commenting, politics expert Professor Matt Goodwin said:
“Against the backdrop of ongoing public concern over the small boats crisis, a perceived loss of control of Britain’s borders and calls to ‘finish Brexit’ by leaving the European courts and the ECHR, we find that more people favour leaving the ECHR than remaining in it.
“Overall, 38% of voters support leaving the ECHR if it means they will be able to better control who is coming in and out of the country, while 32% would oppose exiting the ECHR.
“Among Conservative voters, however, support for leaving rockets to more than two-thirds.”
According to Conservative MP and former Home Office minister Rachel Maclean, potentially millions of people could qualify as asylum seekers or victims of modern slavery and be eligible for resettlement in Britain if they arrive here.
The former Home Office minister said:
“As a compassionate country we need to be frank about the scale of the challenge. No matter how deserving and tragic each individual family, child or case is, if we agree that everyone who qualifies can resettle here the demand is effectively infinite/unlimited, and pressure on public services, infrastructure and taxpayers is impossible.
“This point is always glossed over by Labour and commentators.”
This is a point agreed by Theresa May’s former chief of staff who says Britain “certainly needs to withdraw from the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) if we are to regain control of our borders.”
Nick Timothy was discussing a report he authored for the Centre of Policy Studies which looks at how the Government might tackle the current migrant crisis.
Asked if we will have to leave the ECHR, he told GB News:
“In the report, we make recommendations for things that could change in the application of human rights law consistent with continued membership.
“But it is our view that ultimately, we probably will have to leave the European Convention to do the things we need to do to regain control.”
In an interview, he was asked about Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s view of his report’s proposals.
He said: “She says she doesn’t agree with every proposal in it. And I think we can hazard a guess that the Government isn’t about to introduce ID cards, which is one of our proposals.
“Obviously it’s a big thing for the Home Secretary to write a foreword in such positive terms for a report that contains policies in this way.
Asked about abuse of the Modern Slavery Act, Mr Timothy said: “I think this is one particular part of the story. The Modern Slavery Act is good legislation. It’s important legislation. It’s designed to protect people from being trafficked and from being forced into labour against their will.
“Unfortunately, it is increasingly being used by people who are illegal immigrants or people whose asylum claims are not going as they had hoped.
“We have some proposals to tighten up the Modern Slavery Act by changing evidential thresholds, trying to prevent people from making claims in a kind of tactical way later on, and if necessary, whether there was evidence of serious widespread abuse, excluding nationalities from the provisions of the Act until order is regained.”
Rachel Maclean stated:
“As things stand, an Albanian arriving in a small boat committing drugs crimes is a ‘genuine victim’ and entitled to the same rights as a 13 year old sold into sex slavery.
“I have heard these women and girls stories in a safe house and could not sleep for weeks.
“We need the system to be reformed to rescue and protect them.”
*The poll results are based on a nationally representative sample of 1,139 British adults, analysed by British Polling Council (BPC) member People Polling, for GB News.