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May plans deportation rights curbs

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Theresa May wants to curb the use of human rights laws by criminals to avoid deportation, it has been reported

Theresa May wants to curb the use of human rights laws by criminals to avoid deportation, it has been reported

Theresa May wants to curb the use of human rights laws by criminals to avoid deportation, it has been reported

Home Secretary Theresa May is to set out to MPs her plans to curb the powers of judges to block the deportation of foreign criminals on human rights grounds.

In a Commons statement, she will say she intends to seek backing of Parliament for new guidelines spelling out how the courts should apply the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in such cases.

Mrs May wants to make clear the right to a family life enshrined in Article 8 of the convention - which has been used successfully by some criminals to appeal against removal from the country - is not absolute.

Human rights lawyers warned over the weekend that ministers could not use immigration rules to dictate the interpretation of the law to judges.

However, Mrs May said that if the judiciary did not heed the views of Parliament, she would introduce primary legislation to enforce its will.

Mrs May will also set out fresh proposals intended to crack down on sham marriages and prevent migrant dependants becoming a burden on the UK taxpayer.

A new "financial independence" rule will impose minimum income requirements for people seeking to bring foreign spouses or children into the country.

For a non-EU spouse, they will have to earn at least £18,600 a year and if they have a child they will need £22,400, rising by £2,400 for each additional child.

In addition, aid that from next year migrants seeking to settle in the UK will have to be able to speak and understand English pass a "Britishness" test, demonstrating an understanding of life in the UK.

Labour said Mrs May's proposals would do nothing to address the failings in the UK Border Agency which meant fewer foreign criminals were being deported.

PA