Only 23 per cent of the public say UK should leave the ECHR

Just 23 per cent of the public say Britain should leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), according to a new poll.

The poll also found that pledging to leave the ECHR at the next election, expected in 2024,  could lose the Conservatives twice as many votes for the Conservatives as they might gain from committing to the policy.

The More in Common think tank’s poll saw 49 per cent of those surveyed say Britain should remain a member of the convention.

Conversely, leaving the ECHR was only supported by 23 per cent of people. The same proportion said they did not know.

Forty-one per cent said that a Conservative pledge to leave the ECHR would make them less likely to vote Conservative. 

Only 26 per cent said it would make them more likely to do so.

The polling comes as senior Conservatives urge the prime minister to pledge to withdraw from the convention at the next election in a bid to make it easier to deport illegal migrants and foreign criminals.

Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, has said Britain could quit the ECHR if the Rwanda policy is ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court.

Asked if the government would leave the European Convention on Human Rights to “stop the boats” during small boats week, Mr Jenrick told Times Radio: “We will do whatever is required take whatever necessary action is needed”.

He added: “But the point I think I’ve tried to make to you is that we’re very confident that the arrangements that we’ve put in place with Rwanda are in accordance with our international law obligations”.

The government is also seeking to overturn the Court of Appeal’s decision that ruled the Rwanda deportations plan was unlawful because it risked breaching obligations under the ECHR due to the risk that migrants deported to Rwanda would be removed back to their home country where they faced persecution.

Earlier this month, a senior Conservative MP suggested that the government should recall parliament to enact legislation which would disapply future rulings of the ECHR on the government’s small boats policy.

Sir John Redwood, a veteran MP and former cabinet minister, told Talk TV that the government should not “have this long conversation about the overall European Human Rights position with some kind of manifesto pledge”.

Instead, Sir John suggested: “The legal fix now is to get parliament back and put through a very short simple piece of legislation, which instructs all British courts to say it is parliament’s will [that] we take these necessary actions to stop the boats”.

Another senior Conservative has said that campaigning to leave the ECHR would be “completely foolish and absolutely wrong”.

Sir Robert Neill, who chairs the justice select committee, told the BBC that leaving the ECHR “isn’t Conservative party policy. It isn’t government policy. Whoever these unnamed people are speak for themselves, not for the government and not for the Conservative Party”.