Lord Lilley: To ask His Majesty’s Government what representations they have received about the remarks by Gérald Darmanin, the French interior minister, that his government is prepared to deport asylum seekers deemed dangerous, in breach of rulings of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lord Sharpe of Epsom: My Lords, French policy on asylum is a matter for the French Government. His Majesty’s Government continue to co-operate closely with France to tackle illegal migration and to keep our borders and citizens safe.
Lord Lilley: I thank my noble friend for his Answer. Does he recall warnings from human rights lawyers and Foreign Office mandarins that if we were to set aside a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights we would become pariahs, along with Russia and Belarus? Is it not passing strange that, when France announced its intention to do so, there was no outcry? Since 14 November, when it refouled an Uzbek refugee to his homeland despite the court ruling it illegal, risking torture and death, the whole liberal establishment, from the BBC to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees—
Noble Lords: Oh!
Lord Lilley: —and the SDP—has been as silent as mice. Is there one rule for our friends in Europe and another for Britain?
Lord Sharpe of Epsom: My Lords, I think it would be wise for me to restate what the Prime Minister has said, which is that he is taking
“the extraordinary step of introducing emergency legislation”.
He made that point on 15 November. He went on to say that he does not believe that
“anyone thinks the founding aim of the European Convention on Human Rights was to stop a sovereign Parliament removing illegal migrants to a country deemed to be safe in Parliamentary statute and binding international law. I do not believe we are alone in that interpretation”.
So I say to my noble friend that I look forward to informed discussion on the recent French decision.