Updated on 03/28/2023 17:05
The British House of Commons is discussing an asylum law that has sparked a lot of criticism at the international level. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees fears it will create a “global precedent” with consequences for asylum seekers around the world.
The Commissioner for Human Rights in the Council of Europe has called on British MPs to respect international obligations towards asylum seekers. “It is imperative that parliamentarians prevent legislation that runs counter to the UK’s international obligations,” Dunja Mijatović said in a statement on Monday.
The proposed legislation would detain all people entering the UK unwelcome, regardless of their background, for up to a month. They are then deported back to their home country or – if that would be too dangerous – to Rwanda or another country. They should be denied the right to seek asylum.
UNHCR: The right to asylum will be “erased”
The Conservative government wants to discourage people from crossing the English Channel into Britain in small boats. In addition to the Council of Europe, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has warned against passing the bill.
“It is inconsistent with the UK’s obligations under the International Refugee Convention,” UNHCR’s representative to the UK, Vicky Tennant, told Sky News on Sunday. “We are very concerned that this will set a global precedent.”
The law could also “erase” the right to asylum in the UK for almost all refugees. Tennant stressed that the focus should be on the asylum system so that applications can be processed quickly.
The British government wants to deliver on Brexit promises
Football legend Gary Lineker also got involved in the discussion two weeks ago and caused a scandal. He described the law on Twitter as “extremely harsh” and compared the government’s rhetoric to that of the National Socialists. Then the BBC suspended its TV expert and reinstated her after an outburst of anger.
Despite the criticism, the law is well on its way to being passed. The Conservative British government is concerned about the growing number of unwanted people crossing the English Channel into the country. She had declared that she would “take back control of her borders” after Brexit and is therefore now under pressure from the right wing of the Conservative Party.
Due to Brexit, Great Britain no longer has any readmission agreements with EU countries. Critics accuse the government of exaggerating the problem to appease conservative voters. The opposition rejects the bill. The British House of Commons debated the bill on Monday and plans to continue the debate on Tuesday. (lko / dpa / apa)
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