UK to introduce major change to asylum rules – media

Britain wants to introduce drastic measures to tackle record number of irregular migrants crossing the Channel

British Prime Minister Liz Truss’ cabinet wants to deny the right to seek asylum in the country to all illegal migrants in order to tackle the migrant crisis in the English Channel, it has been reported. The new bill is expected to be announced by Home Secretary Suella Braverman on Tuesday, according to British media including Reuters and The Times newspaper.

The government expects the number of people reaching UK soil in small boats to reach 60,000 by the end of the year, far surpassing the previous record of 28,526 set last year, according to two media. The forecast has been described as a “reasonable worst-case scenario” by an official who spoke to The Times.

Braverman will unveil the new plan during a speech at the ruling Conservative Party’s annual conference, pledging to “put an end to the abuse of the rules and reduce the numbers that do not meet the needs of our economy”, according to the draft text of his speech quoted by Reuters.

The previous Conservative government had tried to deter illegal crossings by threatening asylum seekers with possible deportation to Rwanda. The controversial plan to ship people waiting for their applications to be processed in the UK was introduced under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. But its implementation has been blocked by legal challenges filed by human rights groups.

READ MORE: European court blocks UK deportation flight

The proposed blanket ban would further restrict migrants’ ability to seek asylum in Britain. The Nationality and Borders Act, introduced in June by Braverman’s predecessor, Priti Patel, granted the Home Secretary the power to differentiate the treatment of candidates. Under the law, asylum seekers arriving through countries London considers safe, including France, may be offered a lower level of protection than those coming directly from “unsafe” countries.

Other measures the secretary would announce, including increased use of immigration detention centers, tougher enforcement of policies to stop illegal crossings, and aid to France to help it improve interception rates , said the Times.


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