Refugee Council response to news that Tony Blair has "taken personal control of asylum policy" - Refugee Council
May 23, 2002

Refugee Council response to news that Tony Blair has “taken personal control of asylum policy”

In response to the news on the front page of the Guardian that Tony Blair “has taken personal control of asylum policy” Nick Hardwick, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:

“The asylum proposals in the leaked document from No.10 are wrong in principle and unworkable in practice. If it is true that Tony Blair has taken personal charge of the issue he runs a serious risk of being left with egg all over his face.

“The measures in this plan make it completely clear the government has abandoned any attempt to protect refugees fleeing from persecution. The measures to keep people out hit refugees just as much as people with unfounded claims.

“Linking aid to the movement of refugees is a massive derogation of not only our legal obligations but is going back on one of the most basic values that we cherish as a civilised society, which is the fundamental right to seek asylum.

“But however hard it tries, in an era of mass migration and global movement the government will not be able to halt the movement of asylum seekers and refugees.

“There is no alternative to focusing on improving the quality and speed of the decision making process and doing this consistently across Europe. That way everyone can be confident that refugees who need protection are quickly identified and helped while those who do not need protection can be returned home with confidence they will not be harmed.”

Read the front page Guardian article on-line.

See also the Refugee Council’s Press myths page.