Suella Braverman has suggested a shake-up of international rules could be needed to tackle the migrant crisis ahead of a major speech in the United States.

The Home Secretary questioned whether conventions and legal frameworks designed more than half a century ago are still “fit for purpose”.

She warned that a failure to address the problem will undermine the “democratic legitimacy” of political institutions.

The Home Secretary has previously stated her personal view that the UK should leave the European Convention on Human Rights signed in 1950, which she has blamed for hampering efforts to introduce tough policies such as the Rwanda scheme.

Critics of her approach have also questioned its compliance with the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention.

Ahead of her trip, the Home Secretary said: “Illegal migration and the unprecedented mass movement of people across the globe is placing unsustainable pressures on America, the UK, and Europe.

“We must come together and ask whether the international conventions and legal frameworks designed 50-plus years ago are fit for purpose in an age of jet travel and smartphones.

“I’m going to Washington to discuss this crisis with our American counterparts.

“If we fail to meet these challenges, then our political institutions risk losing their democratic legitimacy.”

Suella Braverman
Home Secretary Suella Braverman will use a speech in the US to set out her vision for tackling the migrant crisis (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Mrs Braverman will travel to Washington on Monday and deliver a keynote speech on Tuesday setting out her assessment of the global migration challenges.

She will present a blueprint for how other countries can combat the crisis and claim the UK has led the way in bringing forward innovative approaches to tackling the problem.

So far this year almost 24,000 people have been detected crossing the English Channel despite Rishi Sunak’s promise to “stop the boats”, although the figure is down from 2022.

Efforts to send some asylum seekers on a one-way trip to Rwanda have been bogged down in legal battles, while an attempt to house people waiting for claims to be assessed on a barge in Portland, Dorset is on hold after Legionella was discovered.

The Home Secretary will use her trip to seek closer co-operation with the US authorities on tackling illegal migration and people traffickers.

She will meet homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and attorney general Merrick Garland for talks on migration and national security.

Following her call for social media firms such as Meta to do more to tackle online child abuse, she will visit the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children to see how the organisation is working with law enforcement worldwide to tackle the evolving threat.

She will also see work going on to address the deadly problems associated with opioid use in the US amid concerns from the UK law enforcement agencies about drugs such as fentanyl getting a hold here.

Alp Mehmet, chairman of campaign group Migration Watch UK, said Mrs Braverman was right to “call out the conventions” and suggested the UK should withdraw from both the ECHR and the Refugee Convention if reforms were not made.

“We have long been saying that both the Refugee Convention and ECHR are outdated and ill-suited to modern challenges,” he said.

But Refugee Council chief Enver Solomon said: “What we need is a fair process for people who come here in search of safety and protection.

“Instead of threatening to abandon the frameworks and conventions that protect refugees’ rights, we should be addressing the real issues in the asylum system, such as the record backlog, and providing safe routes for those in need of protection, including refugee visas, resettlement and family reunion schemes.”