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Immigration Bill takes away fundamental human rights Philip Trott tells Sky News

8 March 2023

Vanessa Ganguin Immigration Law Senior Counsel Philip Trott provided expert commentary on the human rights law consequences of new legislation announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Home Secretary Suella Braverman for Sky News as the new Illegal Migration Bill was presented to Parliament.

“Post the Second World War the British Government was a signatory to a variety of conventions that sought to protect people who were claiming to be refugees and it seems to be rather trite to say how on earth are these individuals going to be protected if this legislation going to be passed in the way it’s proposed?” Philip told Sky News, expressing the concern of many immigration law practitioners that the proposed legislation is not compatible with the human rights laws that the United Kingdom has signed up to.

“There’s going to be a challenge to the legislation. How on earth can you have legislation in place which takes away fundamental human rights which have been in place since the end of the Second World War?” Philip told Sky News’ Sarah-Jane Mee’s show as Suella Braverman faced fierce questions from MPs over the controversial legislation.

The UN High Commission for Refugees indeed later issued a statement on the proposed legislation saying it “would amount to an asylum ban – extinguishing the right to seek refugee protection in the United Kingdom for those who arrive irregularly, no matter how genuine and compelling their claim may be, and with no consideration of their individual circumstances.”

The UN agency added: “This would be a clear breach of the Refugee Convention and would undermine a longstanding, humanitarian tradition of which the British people are rightly proud.

“Most people fleeing war and persecution are simply unable to access the required passports and visas. There are no safe and “legal” routes available to them. Denying them access to asylum on this basis undermines the very purpose for which the Refugee Convention was established. The convention explicitly recognises that refugees may be compelled to enter a country of asylum irregularly.”

The Illegal Migration Bill can be found here.