This afternoon, I set out why I am opposing the Government’s dreaded Nationality and Borders Bill. The Government claims this will create a firm but fair asylum system; this Bill would do anything but. It breaches the 1951 Refugee Convention, demonises and endangers people seeking to claim asylum, and fails to tackle modern slavery. I and my Labour colleagues will be voting against the Bill at Second Reading and attempting to remove the measures that negatively affect asylum seekers.
The Government claims it wants to crack down on people entering the country illegally and dangerously. It’s their refusal to provide legal and safe routes for people to claim asylum to the UK and undermining of existing schemes like the Dubs schemes for child refugees that is driving desperate people to resort to going to people smugglers.
In my speech, I paid credit to how Bristol’s bustling Somali community has enriched life in Bristol, many of whom came to the UK in search of sanctuary, fleeing one of the most violent conflicts in modern history, and welcomed Bristol Bisons’ Kenneth Macharia’s successful appeal against the Home Office’s decision to deport him to Kenya. You will be able to read a full transcript of my speech in Hansard tomorrow.
Watch clip here.