The Nationality and Borders Bill is “inhumane” and breaches the UK’s international commitments to refugees, says Ruth Cadbury MP.
The MP for Brentford and Isleworth voted against the Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill at its third reading in the House of Commons On Wednesday (8 December).
The bill is a new piece of legislation in relation to the UK’s asylum system. Clause nine allows the Home Secretary to strip a naturalised British citizen of their citizenship without any notice at all on the grounds that it is ‘reasonably practicable’ to do so or under the guise of ‘national’ or ‘public interest’.
The bill also threatens anyone travelling to the UK via ‘illegal entry’ points with up to four years in prison, and criminalises anyone who assists them. Organisations such as the Joint Council for the Welfare of Refugees describe the bill as “cruel and dangerous.”
The nationality and borders bill was passed by the Commons, with 298 MPs in support and 231 against, giving the government a majority of 67 votes.
Government abandoning its commitment to refugees, says Ruth Cadbury
Speaking after the bill passed through the House of Commons, Ruth said:
‘‘The Government’s nationality and borders bill is simply inhumane.
“Rather than focusing on how to support vulnerable people who are seeking refuge this bill will see the Government abandon our historic commitment to supporting refugees.
“The UK has historically played a leading role in supporting refugees and asylum seekers – whether that was through the Kindertransport program to welcome Jewish children in the 1930s, or providing asylum to East African Asians in the 1960s and 70s.
“This bill sees our Government turning its back on this tradition. I also know that many people locally are extremely concerned about Clause nine of this bill, which would give greater powers for the Government to strip citizenship from individuals in the UK.
“The Government’s own policies such as the bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan, the decision to cut overseas aid have all contributed to the instability and turmoil we’ve seen across the world.
“I’m proud of the work done locally by groups such as Refugees Welcome Hounslow, who’ve done amazing work to support refugees, including those arriving from Syria. It’s beyond frustrating that our Government are not doing more to support community groups and councils such as Hounslow who are supporting refugees, including individuals who’ve recently arrived from Afghanistan.
“I will continue to campaign for our Government to show some compassion and provide safe, legal routes for those fleeing war, persecution and oppression across the world.’’
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