The head of the UK Refugee Council warns that the UK government’s imminent Nationality and Borders bill will make things worse for asylum seekers and will not fix a broken asylum system.
Enver Solomon predicted the proposed legislation would prove unworkable and unravel because it would create more delays, fail to solve a backlog problem in asylum applications, and fail in its attempt to export asylum and refugee issues offshore.
He told the AEJ UK on 26 January 2022 that the proposed legislation – facing amendments in the House of Lords before returning to the Commons – was largely rhetorical and would not mend a system that’s been failing for more than 10 years ever since the Labour government started a “draconian drift” in its aproach to refugees.
Last year 27 migrants drowned in the English Channel on a single day in November and a record 28,000 people crossed the Channel on small boats, putting immigration and asylum issues back near the top of the political and international agenda. Solomon said there is no credible plan to resolve this issue – at least until well after the French elections in April, if then.
And ultimately, he noted, UK issues with refugees and asylum seekers are part of a worldwide problem of war and massive refugee camps in places like Greece and Bangladesh – problems no single country can solve and problems that can only be addressed with global solutions.
For more on this meeting please see this report from AEJ UK Secretary Charles Jenkins or listen to this audio record.
UK Refugee Council
Nationality and Borders Bill
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United Nations on Nationality and Borders Bill