A new poll shows that a majority of people now support pulling out of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
They believe that such a move will help fulfil the totemic Brexit promise of “taking back control” of our borders.
The survey showed 54 percent of adults support pulling out of the ECHR while just 27 percent said they would oppose such a move.
A clear majority of those polled agreed with “replacing the current European system of human rights laws” with “new British laws that protect rights like free speech but enable the Government to promptly deport illegal migrants”.
Among Tory voters, support was at 86 percent, according to the poll for The New Conservatives, a group of Tory MPs aiming to shape the party’s policies before the next general election.
The survey of 2000 voters showed 40 percent of Labour supporters agreed.
The groundswell in public opinion comes just days before a Supreme court showdown on the government’s Rwanda deportation policy begins.
Many Conservative MPs say the £140 million scheme, which has stalled on legal grounds since June last year, is vital to stopping illegal migration.
Failure to win the court hearing will only serve to intensify the clamour to quit the convention.
Conservative MP Tom Hunt said: “For too long we’ve had left wing organisations trying to manufacture poll results on this issue.
“Finally we have a poll that clearly demonstrates that if necessary, the majority of the public would absolutely support replacing the ECHR if it was necessary to control our borders and implement a scheme.”
The research, by Whitestone Insight, was carried out before Home Secretary Suella Braverman made a speech last week in which she criticised the 1951 Refugee Convention for helping to create an “absurd and unsustainable” asylum system.
Mrs Braverman went on to warn that uncontrolled immigration posed an “existential challenge” for the West and could lead to our way of life being erased.
Senior Conservative MP Sir John Hayes said: “When people voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum they did so to ‘take back control’.
“Now is the time to take back control from the unelected foreign judges in Strasbourg so that we can stop our borders from being breached.
“Clearly the public wants it. the Home Secretary wants it and I want it.” Asked if Rishi Sunak wants it, Sir John added: “The Prime Minister wants to stop the boats and I’m sure he’ll do the right thing.”
Fellow Tory Marco Longhi said: “The research shows beyond reasonable doubt that the British people want rights to be protected and at the same time for illegal immigrants to be deported.
“The current system and the way courts interpret the ECHR allows for widespread abuse of a convention written 70 years ago.
“It has long been my belief that as a sovereign nation we should have full control over our borders like many other countries do. This is what the British people expect from its government.”
The New Conservatives have called for five main policy commitments in the party’s next election manifesto, including replacing Labour’s Human Rights Act with a “new British framework for rights and freedoms”.
Rishi Sunak has vowed to do “whatever is necessary” to stop small boat crossings after several ministers called for a rethink of Britain’s ECHR membership.
In his speech at the Conservative Party conference on Wednesday the Prime Minister hailed the Government’s progress in reducing small boat Channel crossings by a fifth this year.
But he admitted more needs to be done and said that only “once flights start going regularly to Rwanda, the boats will stop coming’”.
Although the Government is “confident” that their current approach aligns with their ‘international obligations’, Mr Sunak said, he will do whatever it takes to fulfil his priority to the British people.
Pressure has been mounting on Mr Sunak to ensure the UK leaves the human rights framework after the Strasbourg court’s rule 39 injunctions blocked the Government’s efforts to deport asylum-seekers to the East African nation.
During the party conference, Cabinet ministers Kemi Badenoch and Michael Gove urged Mr Sunak to rethink Britain’s membership of the ECHR.
Speaking yesterday (Thur) Mr Sunak warned illegal migration is “putting unsustainable pressure” on our country.
He told the BBC: “For me, it is non-negotiable that it should be the British people who decide who comes to our country and not criminal gangs.
“I made a speech myself eight months ago about illegal migration. I pointed out the number of people who potentially could come to the UK, figures that have been mentioned by international organisations.
“That’s clearly unsustainable, which is why we’re taking action to stop the boats.” He said it is “right when people come here that they integrate”.
The Rwanda scheme is meant to give migrants a one-way ticket to Rwanda where they will claim asylum there rather than in the UK.
In June, the Court of Appeal ruled that the policy is unlawful on human rights grounds. Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s appeal against that decision will be heard by Supreme Court justices beginning on Monday next week.
The European Court of Human Rights is the court of law of the Council of Europe, which is based in Strasbourg, France.
Set up in 1959, it rules on applications alleging violations of civil and political rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights.