The UK Government’s Nationality & Borders Bill is currently in the middle of its passage through Parliament. This anti-refugee bill will fundamentally rewrite the UK asylum system, with grave consequences for vulnerable people seeking sanctuary.
The bill is part of the Government’s ‘New Plan for Immigration’ that seeks to reform our immigration system, and will introduce significant and harmful changes to the way people seeking asylum are treated in the UK. You can read our response to the New Plan here; and we’ve set out below some of the ways in which you can help challenge these proposals.
What’s wrong with the bill?
The bill will create a two-tier system based on the journeys people made to get here, rather than their need for protection. It will separate families and lead to more dangerous journeys in an attempt to reach safety.
It will create ever longer backlogs and delays in the asylum process that will leave people living in limbo, will warehouse people in reception centres rather than house people in communities, and will lead to greater poverty and homelessness.
It seeks to establish unsafe and costly offshore accommodation which has elsewhere led to appalling human rights abuses. It is based on fantasy agreements with other countries that are unlikely to be secured, and flies in the face of international law and our global responsibilities.
You can find further in-depth briefings on the bill in this shared folder collated by Together with Refugees.
We believe we need to take a united stand calling for this Bill to be thrown out and replaced with proposals for an asylum system that is kinder, fairer and more effective.
This means defending people’s right to seek safety in the UK no matter how they came here and ensuring they can live in dignity while they wait for a decision on their asylum application. It means empowering refugees to rebuild their lives and make valuable contributions to our communities. And it means the UK working with other countries to do our bit to help people who are forced to flee their homes.
What you can do
Throughout the UK, we need parliamentarians and local-decision makers to publicly oppose the anti-refugee bill and call for a different approach that protects people seeking safety. Many MPs and local decision-makers will have heard from the small but vocal minority who oppose a compassionate approach to refugees. It is crucial that they hear from people and groups in their constituencies who stand together with refugees, and that we work together to build an alternative, compassionate vision for the UK asylum system.
Lobby your MP and other decision-makers
We have published a new set of resources for engaging your MP and national, regional and local leaders (such as MSPs, MSs, Metro Mayors and Councillors) on the anti-refugee bill and calling on them to support a different approach:
- A guide to engaging your MP on the anti-refugee bill
- A template letter to your MP
- A guide to engaging national, regional and local decision-makers on the bill
We hope you find these resources useful. Please let us know if you use them and keep us updated about any responses you receive. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to discuss any approaches to your MPs or other decision-makers, either at [email protected] or by contacting your local Campaigns Manager.
Join the Together with Refugees coalition
Asylum Matters is a founding member of a new UK-wide coalition, Together with Refugees, that is working together to call for a more humane approach to people seeking protection in the UK.
For our most up to date news on the Anti Refugee Bill, check out our news posts below: