Laura Kyrke-Smith, Executive Director of the International Rescue Committee UK, says: 

“Despite what the title of the Bill suggests, seeking asylum at the UK’s shores is an established right under international law, and currently three quarters of those who arrive on small boats go on to be recognised as refugees.  

UNHCR has stated that, if passed, this legislation effectively amounts to an asylum ban. It will deny protection to many people fleeing war and persecution in need of safety, who currently have no safe, regular way to come to the UK and therefore have to claim asylum. 

To render their asylum claims inadmissible is deeply unfair to the people at the heart of this Bill. It also undermines the Refugee Convention, which the UK proudly helped to craft, and which rightly establishes that protection must be based on the needs of the person, not their mode of arrival.   

We urge Parliament to reconsider the Bill during its next stages, and instead pursue more compassionate and effective approaches to managing this country’s refugee and asylum policies, and uphold the fundamental right to asylum.