The Tory Government have announced cruel and desperate plans to try and ban migrants from re-entering the UK if they cross the Channel.
New legislation presented in Parliament by Home Secretary Suella Braverman will seek to further demonise and scapegoat people fleeing to the UK to seek safety.
Using frankly disgusting, divisive and fear-mongering language, the right=wing Home Secretary spoke of “waves of illegal arrivals” and “criminals breaking into Britain” while setting out plans to make asylum claims inadmissible from those who travel to the UK on small boats.
But the reality is, this legislation will do nothing to reduce the number of deaths in the Channel or the chaos and incompetence that blights our asylum system yet will deny sanctuary to those who desperately need it.
This bill would mean turning our back on thousands of legitimately seeking safety with no legal route to apply outside the UK.
UK Government’s statistics show that two out of three people who arrive by small boat are granted asylum.
The UK Government is also stepping away from its global responsibilities and away from the compassion that allowed Suella’s own parents to arrive in the UK.
Acknowledging in her own word to Parliament Suella Braverman said: “My own parents, decades ago, found security & opportunity in this country, something for which my family is eternally grateful.”
It is very interesting that our Home Secretary, who is a member of the party that broke the immigration system, recognised the need for compassion for her parents, but disgustingly that she wants to deny that same right to asylum seekers who just want the same opportunity.
We often hear rhetoric that people could seek asylum elsewhere. Yet our neighbours in France, Germany, and Spain take many more applications from refugees than the UK, with Germany taking more than three times the number.
However, we really should not be surprised by this move by this uncaring and dangerous Tory Government.
From the outset, the UK government’s approach to asylum seekers has been inhumane and cruel.
This latest proposal from Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman is just their latest attempt to trash the Refugee Convention and the Human Rights Convention, as well as the Modern Slavery Act protections for victims of trafficking.
The UK government should have realised their plans will achieve nothing except extra pain and misery to families fleeing war-torn countries or places where they face persecution.
Their failure to realise this again proves the need for Scotland to have the full powers of independence so that we can build a humane asylum system that offers refugees protection, security and dignity from the moment they arrive here.