Thanasis Gavos

- Advertisement -

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman insisted in morning interviews that the controversial Illegal Immigration Bill, which was introduced on Tuesday amid strong backlash, does not break the law.

The bill allows for the detention for 28 days without bail and trial of migrants and refugees who arrive on British soil illegally, mainly by boat across the English Channel. It obliges the minister to proceed with the fastest possible removal to their country or a safe third country.

- Advertisement -

Asylum applications will be submitted and considered after the deportation of these people.

The bill also bans future entry and settlement in the country for these people, as well as the acquisition of British citizenship.

It also establishes an annual figure for refugees who will be admitted to the UK if they have followed legal routes of entry into the country.

The bill has been heavily criticized as “inhumane”, “non-functional” and “likely illegal” by opposition MPs, human rights groups, Amnesty International and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The latter expressed “deep concern”, noting that in essence the British government is removing the right to asylum for people who really need it.

Ms Braverman said she was “very confident” the bill was consistent with the UK’s international legal obligations.

“We are not breaking the law and no government spokesperson has said we are breaking the law. In fact, we have made it clear that we believe we are in compliance with all our international obligations, e.g. the Convention on Refugees, the European Convention on Human Rights, other conventions to which we are bound,” the minister told Sky News.

Nevertheless, on Tuesday in the Parliament Ms. Braverman had said that she does not know if the bill is fully within the conventions of international law. Also, a letter from her under-secretaries to MPs said there was “more than a 50% chance” the bill would not be compatible with the Human Rights Act, which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into British law.