A human rights group has said that the UK government is “avoiding the asylum responsibilities it expects others to take,” reports Sky.
Refugee charities also criticized the plans as “costly and unworkable” and said they “promise nothing but more demonisation and punishment” of asylum seekers, reports Sky.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman will on Tuesday release long-promised legislation on people crossing the Channel in small boats.
A ban on people coming to the UK illegally by seeking asylum is believed to be one of the proposals tabled in the new Illegal Immigration Bill.
Michelle Donnellan, the science, innovation and technology secretary, told Sky News’ Kay Burley on the breakfast program on Monday: “The basic principle will be that if you travel here illegally, then it’s not okay to stay.”
She said many of the people arriving on the small boats “across many safe countries to get here…and if they’re travelling here illegally they shouldn’t be allowed to stay”, reports Sky.
Cabinet minister Chris Heaton-Harris said on Sunday the law would ensure people who came illegally to the UK “are returned very quickly” or to another country like Rwanda.
Rishi Sunak made stopping migrants crossing the Channel one of his five priorities in office, promised to introduce new rules to “make sure that if you come to this country illegally, you are detained and swiftly removed”, reports Sky.
The prime minister’s spokesman said on Monday that the government believed it could introduce new legislation but within the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Many Conservative MPs welcomed the news that a new bill was imminent, but the plans were criticized by opposition parties, with Labor accusing the government of “recycling the same rhetoric and failure” and the Liberal Democrats saying that ministers had done “another half-baked plan”, reports Sky.
However, questions have been raised about how such legislation could be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, based on the details known so far.
The government’s previous Rwandan program has been mired in legal wrangling, with no flights taking migrants to Rwanda’s capital Kigali so far.
The latest figures from the Home Office show that 2,950 migrants have already crossed the Channel this year, compared to a record 45,756 migrants arriving in the UK last year.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “The home secretary has been clear that if you arrive in the UK illegally, you should not be allowed to stay. We will shortly introduce legislation which will ensure that people arriving in the UK illegally are detained and promptly returned to their home country or a safe third country. Our work with France is also vital to tackling the unacceptable rise in dangerous Channel crossings. We share a determination to tackle this issue together, head-on, to stop the boats,” reports Sky.
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