The Nationality and Borders Bill has started its progress through Parliament with a 2nd reading and vote on 19 and 20 July. We have no doubts that this Bill will have a negative impact on asylum seekers and refugees. It has already been renamed as the “Anti-Refugee Bill”.
Why are we concerned? Because it will fail to protect those in need of safety. Provisions within the Bill will mean that thousands of vulnerable people who would currently be accepted as refugees will no longer be given safety in the UK due to the method of their arrival. There is legal opinion that this would be in breach of the 1951 Refugee Convention. The UN Convention clearly states that “refugees shall not be penalized solely by reason of unlawful entry.” The focus of decisions by the Home Office must be on the reason for seeking asylum not the means of travel to the UK.
Restore is a member of the Together with Refugees coalition of over 280 organisations which will continue to challenge elements in the new Bill and promote a kinder, fairer approach to refugees in our country. Please write to your MP to express your concerns about this legislation and ask them to vote against the Bill. A link to a template letter drawn up by the Restore Council can be accessed here.
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