Today prime minister Rishi Sunak’s ‘small boats bill’ is expected to be published. The proposed legislation means anyone who tries to enter the UK on a small boat will be unable to claim asylum or use human rights laws to prevent being removed.
Home secretary Suella Braverman is expected to publish the legislation today. She has previously admitted that the bill “pushed the boundaries of international law".
The new legislation will ban people coming to the UK in small boats across the English Channel. They will be unable to apply for British citizenship and Rishi Sunak has said previously: "Make no mistake, if you come here illegally, you will not be able to stay."
The new legislation is expected to say that the home secretary must "as soon as reasonably practicable" transfer people picked up in the small boat crossings to either Rwanda or a safe third country.’’ This reaffirms the government’s commitment to the Rwanda deportation plan- a plan which has become tangled in various legal battles. Further details are yet to be announced from the government. These extra details are expected to be later today.
The bill has received widespread criticism from refugee charities. This includes the international organisation Refugee Council.
Enver Solomon, who is CEO Refugee Council, said: “These plans shatter the UK’s long-standing commitment under the UN Convention to give people a fair hearing regardless of the path they have taken to reach our shores. They will simply add more cost and chaos to the system.
“The majority of the men, women and children who cross the Channel do so because they are desperate to escape war, conflict and persecution. The Government’s flawed legislation will not stop the boats but result in tens of thousands locked up in detention at huge cost, permanently in limbo and being treated as criminals simply for seeking refuge. It’s unworkable, costly and won’t stop the boats.”