This article originally appeared in the Mail Plus.

IN the 2019 manifesto we committed to ‘take back control of our borders’. 

Around 10,000 illegal migrants have made the Channel crossing so far this year, compared to 5,917 in the same period last year. 

On current trajectories that could mean 60,000 will arrive on our shores this year. This does not look like a country that has ‘taken control’.

As Attorney General, it is obvious to me – and has been for some time – that the problem is the European Court of Human Rights. 

To take back control of our borders we must make it clear that illegal channel crossings are not a way into this country.

As the recent litigation about the Rwanda flight shows – this is a problem that ultimately stems from ceding jurisdiction to a foreign court. 

The UK Supreme Court allowed the flight, only to be stymied by Strasbourg. The time has come to take control of this situation and put human rights on a domestic footing. 

Our legal system pioneered human rights – from Magna Carta to Habeas Corpus. It is time to trust in a British Bill of Rights and remove the Strasbourg court from the equation. 

If we can break the model of people trafficking – and get our Rwanda plan actually working – we can remove the incentives for illegal channel crossings. 

The ECHR was designed in 1950 to prevent a recurrence of the horrors of the previous decades. It was not intended to deal with refugees – that was meant for the Refugee Convention, written at the same time. 

Since then, the Strasbourg court has engaged in ‘mission creep’, grossly expanding the remit of the Convention to cover almost every aspect of daily life and policy. 

Above all, the ECHR prevents us from deporting economic migrants that have arrived from a safe and stable country – France.

Our task is clear – but it will not be easy. We’ll have to ‘take arms against a sea of troubles’ to get it through, but the integrity of our country depends on it.

If you can’t control your borders, you are not an independent country. Under my leadership, this Conservative government would keep its manifesto promise and make sure we take control of our borders.

That means leaving the ECHR. In parallel, the UK would lead on a new international Common Law Rights Charter to form a political commitment between like-minded countries who share a similar human rights tradition and constitutional history. 

We simply can’t have European courts deciding who can stay in our country. With a similar policy, the Australians got illegal migration down from thousands to hundreds – but they could only do that because they don’t have a foreign court second guessing their every decision.

Likewise, the US and Canada have so far refused to join the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Our cousins overseas are proud inheritors of our Common Law tradition of rights. They trust in their own legislatures, courts, and judges. 

Why on Earth can’t we?