WHY WE CALL IT THE ANTI-REFUGEE BILL

The way in which the UK treats people seeking safety here is in urgent need of reform.

But the Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill proposes reforms that focus on punishing refugees rather than protecting them.

To communicate how cruelly the Bill targets people seeking safety, we are calling it the Anti-Refugee Bill. In the videos below, Mariam from our Campaigns Team sets out why.

Each video deals with a specific issue from the Bill, or you can see these arguments all together in the full video instead.

OVERVIEW OF THE BILL

The Anti-Refugee Bill is full of measures that punish people for seeking safety in the UK.

Its contents are so extreme that it essentially ends the UK asylum system, while offering no new alternatives to ensure that refugees are protected.

HOW MANY PEOPLE?

In recent years far fewer people have claimed and been granted asylum. But the Home Secretary says the system is ‘overwhelmed’.

Mariam explains how this Government creates the impression of high numbers of asylum claims. The numbers aren’t unmanageable, the system is terribly managed.

THE COST OF OFFSHORING

The human costs of offshoring – sending people seeking asylum abroad with no guarantees on their safety – are appalling.

The financial costs are staggering too. Priti Patel complains about an expensive asylum system while proposing a disgraceful practice with a £2m per-person price tag.

DETERRENT AND THE ‘PULL FACTOR’

The whole basis of the Anti-Refugee Bill is to discourage people in need of safety from looking for it in the UK.

It’s a sad and cowardly idea, but is it even possible? Does Priti Patel think people take a break from running for their lives to check in on the things this Government is doing to try and ward them off?

WHO’S GENUINE?

Some asylum claims are refused. Refused asylum claims are overturned all the time, yet the accusation of claims and people not being ‘genuine’ is cynically thrown around just as often.

The asylum system exists to assess claims and give refugee status to people who need it. But the Anti-Refugee Bill will withold protection and spread the cruel lie that people seeking safety can’t be trusted.

POPULAR SUPPORT

Priti Patel describes the Anti-Refugee Bill as part of the Government delivering on what it calls ‘the people’s priorities’.

But there’s very little evidence of popular support for the particular ways in which the Bill punishes refugees, and plenty of evidence that people would rather see refugees protected.

WHERE ARE WE?

Great Britain is an island! A fact that many politicians find convenient in minimising the UK’s role as a safe haven.

But our asylum rules should be set in line with what’s right, not what a stretch of water can help us ‘get away with’.

MAKING THINGS WORSE

The UK asylum system is broken. But the Anti-Refugee Bill can’t fix it because it’s just a more extreme version of past failures.

Above all, people seeking safety won’t be treated with compassion in the UK until our leaders stop seeing humanitarian crises as opportunities for party political gain.

READ MORE IN OUR REPORT

Refugee Action carried out a detailed analysis of the Bill, finding that its mix of criminalisation, detention, deportation and abandonment amounted to the biggest attack on refugee protection we’ve ever seen.

The report is titled All Punishment, No Protection and displays how we came to the conclusion that the Anti-Refugee Bill must be scrapped.