Craig Tracey, local Member of Parliament for North Warwickshire and Bedworth, has welcomed the recent announcement by the Home Secretary around the biggest rehaul of the UK’s asylum and immigration system in decades.
The new system has been designed to ensure a fairer asylum system for those most vulnerable, whilst directly addressing the recent surge in the number of small boat crossings across the Channel, of which the UK saw over 8,500 people make this unsafe journey in the past year alone. As the New Plan for Immigration aims to deter illegal entry in the first place, it can also crucially tackle the people smuggling trade. They will also see improved security protections such as being able to remove more dangerous criminals, namely in cases where they improperly claim to be victims of modern slavery.
Commenting after the announcement, Craig said:
‘’I strongly welcome these measures announced by the Home Secretary today and am pleased to see the Government follow through on their commitment to implementing a fairer immigration system.
I know how concerned my constituents have been at the level of small boat crossings over the pandemic and it is important that we take these serious steps now to stop these perilous journeys whilst clamping down on the criminal gangs who facilitate them in the first place. Too often we see the tragic consequences of illegal entry into the UK, mostly in the case of women and children, so it is vital we have a comprehensive system in place which allows for genuine refugees to come in through safe and legal routes. Anyone having their asylum case refused upon illegal entry to the UK will be removed back to their country of origin.
I am also really pleased to see much-needed action taken on creating tougher criminal offences for people smugglers by introducing life sentences, as well as increasing the penalty for Foreign National Offenders who return to the UK in breach of a deportation order from six months to five years’ imprisonment. All of these measures mean we can adopt a more efficient asylum system and offer better support to those who need it the most.’’
The Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, commented:
“Under our New Plan for Immigration, if people arrive illegally, they will no longer have the same entitlements as those who arrive legally, and it will be harder for them to stay.
If, like over 60% of illegal arrivals, they have travelled through a safe country like France to get here, they will not have immediate entry into the asylum system-which is what happens today.
I make no apology for these actions being firm, but as they will also save lives and target people smugglers, they are also undeniably fair.’’