Yesterday, the House of Lords debated further amendments on refugee and asylum policy in the Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill.
The Government was defeated on a range of measures in the bill including offshore processing, safe and legal routes such as resettlement, and the criminalisation of those seeking asylum.
Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, said:
“Once again, the House of Lords has sent a crystal clear message to the Government that refugee rights must prevail. In voting for a number of very important changes to overturn this Government’s Bill, it is standing up for humanity, compassion, and the vital importance of refugee protection. It is simply not prepared to see this Government ride roughshod over our proud history of supporting those in desperate need of safety.
“These amendments will mean men, women and children fleeing bloodshed and war – like those from Ukraine – will not be criminalised for needing protection. Nor treated with great cruelty by having the door slammed in their face and sent off to have their claims processed in offshore facilities overseas.
“We warmly welcome the House of Lords’ important decision to vote in favour of resettling 10,000 refugees to the UK each year and heartened to see this ambitious approach commanding support from across the political divide. This would provide a safe future for thousands of vulnerable people from countries across the world, making the UK a world leader in refugee resettlement.
“We were also encouraged to hear the Lords’ strong support for refugee family reunion. While Ukrainians fleeing today’s conflict can be reunited in the UK with their elderly parents, siblings and adult children, this is simply not the case for any other refugees here and it should be. Everyday refugee families are being torn apart in the mayhem and struggle of fleeing a war zone, and it is only when they are reunited again that they are able to recover and rebuild their lives.”