This week in the House of Commons there are some important discussions and votes that will have a serious impact on our nation and our position within the rest of the World. These occur on Tuesday and Wednesday under the Nationality and Borders Bill which come a few days after the most disturbing and tragic deaths of a significant number of people who were seeking safety in our nation. Most people who set out to reach our nation do so because of threats from their original nations and they are seeking our nation as a safe place. A few hours after the deaths last week I saw an open letter from a Conservative MP, Simon Hoare from North Dorset which included these words
We must work collaboratively with the French and other European Governments to have a shared response. I pray that we actually try to solve the issue rather than playing the blame game and victimising the ‘others’ to protect the ‘us’.
Sadly, this was not shared by some other Conservative MPs and as his letter emerged, Andrew Rosindell the MP for Romford spoke in the PM’s question time last Wednesday. He stated
The Prime Minister will know that we will not be able to stop the endless waves of illegal migrants crossing the English Channel until we break free from the constraints of the European convention on human rights
and in a tragic response Johnson stated
there is something we can all do next Tuesday and Wednesday, because our Nationality and Borders Bill is coming back to the House after long gestation. The Bill gives us the power to make the distinction at last between illegal and legal migrants to this country, it gives Border Force the power to turn people back at sea, and it gives us the power to send people overseas for screening, rather than doing it in this country.
So, we clearly need to find local MPs including in their party who will challenge these damaging attitudes. Over the next two days there are several amendments being proposed that we need our local MPs to stand alongside people like Simon Hoare and support the lives and experiences of future asylum seekers. A few days ago I received a letter from an organisation that is part of the UK’s Church structure which included this statement
Recent headlines share the harrowing stories of men, women and children drowning in the English Channel in search of a life free from persecution and exploitation ….We believe that the bill as it currently stands creates an unjust and discriminatory system … Our asylum, immigration and refugee system is in desperate need of reform. Regardless of the level of immigration into the UK, our system and structures should treat all people with dignity and value
I fully agree with that and I hope that any Sussex MPs who have a credible level of humanity and dignity will send a strong message to the Government that opposes to the comments from Johnson and Rosindell. There are at least two amendments that are being proposed in the next two days that are vital for this proposed Bill to be amended and to help protect the people and our nations credibility.
Amendment 8 will be proposed by Tim Farron and Alistair Carmichael who are both Liberal Democratic MPs which calls to remove the proposed differential treatment of asylum seekers depending on how they have tried to enter our nation. It is deeply disturbing that the Government wants to form a two-tier asylum system on that aspect. We instead need to treat all people as they are and why they are trying to come into our nation. To reject people just because they have sought a more dangerous route is deeply disturbing and this must be prevented. The government should instead create safer routes for people experiencing persecution to seek asylum in the UK and in doing so for us to reduce the evil people who are treating this a way to gain funding.
Amendment 9 is from David Davis who is a Conservative MP and it is always very inspiring when Conservative MPs stand up for such themes and form the words. A similar event took place a couple of weeks ago when Jeremy Hunt published an amendment for the Health and Care Bill. Sadly he was not successful but let us hope that David Davis will obtain support from some of his colleagues and all others party members. His amendment seeks to remove the proposal for the people who are seeking asylum in our nation to be travelled away from the UK and for their applications to be processed in a so called “safe country” when that is not yet defined and indeed it sends a very critical approach across the World.