I have strongly opposed this proposed new law at every opportunity. I will continue to urge the government to take a different approach to honour our commitment to refugees.
I also want to stop these dangerous crossings that are putting lives at risk- but the way the government is doing it is totally wrong.
Ministers need instead to deal with the backlog of asylum applications, improve the safe and legal routes such as family reunion and resettlement schemes, crack down on criminal smuggler gangs and tackle humanitarian crises at source. This is what Labour would do and we spelled this out in our ‘reasoned amendment’. The government voted against this amendment, so I and my colleagues of course voted against the Bill.
The overwhelming majority of the millions of people worldwide fleeing war and persecution remain displaced in their own country or living in refugee camps in neighbouring countries. The much smaller proportion who make their way to the UK often do so because they have a link to our country.
I am proud of Bristol’s status as a City of Sanctuary, welcoming asylum seekers and refugees.
I have one of the largest numbers of asylum and immigration related casework in the country. I also enjoy a wonderful working relationship with the many charities, faith groups and people in Bristol supporting those who have had to flee war and prosecution.
I won’t be letting these people, or you, down.
Please sign this petition if you oppose the Bill and circulate it amongst others in Bristol West by Wednesday 22nd March.
Member of Parliament for Bristol West
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons