Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Original Letter available on The Times website.

    Sir, Gordon Brown ought to refresh his memory (“Sunak’s threat to leave ECHR plays into Putin’s hands”, Thunderer, Apr 8). He quotes the claim that to “deem Rwanda to be a safe country is contrary to the rule of law” and “a legislative usurpation of the judicial function”. Yet the government of which he was part legislated to create an irrebuttable presumption that a list of countries were safe in the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants) Act 2004. While he was prime minister, it was challenged in the Mehran Karimi Nasseri case and upheld by the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords. It remained on the statute book until 2022. Indeed, the legislation was required by our membership of the European Union, and the ability to remove it was made possible by Brexit.