As a member of Labour’s team on the Nationality and Borders Bill Committee, I’ve been part of a small group of MPs who are scrutinising the Bill line by line before it returns to the House of Commons and yesterday I joined the ‘Refugees Welcome’ rally in Parliament Square backed by a wide range of organisations opposing the Bill.
This week we have gone through Part 1 and some of Part 2 of the Bill, focusing on issues of nationality, in which I challenged the Minister on his proposals on statelessness for minors. I pushed him to publish evidence of the need for the Home Secretary to take new powers, which he failed to do.
We also covered the key section of the Bill which criminalises those arriving through “irregular” routes, which will make claiming asylum even more difficult for women and other vulnerable people.
In this debate, I explained that this policy “conveniently ignores the reality of seeking asylum – fleeing persecution, danger, abuse, terror – taking the huge step to flee their country because they’re not safe there. Irregularity, then, is almost certain – as is chaos and unpredictability.” I also spoke about the lack of safe and legal routes on which the Government’s hypocritical Bill is predicated. You can read my speech here.
I will continue to oppose this cruel Bill at every stage.