Parliamentary briefing: Illegal Migration Bill

We've prepared a briefing on the Illegal Migration Bill, which includes our concerns about the Bill's compatibility with our international obligations, how it affects the rule of law and our access to justice.
A bright image of the white cliffs of Dover
The White Cliffs of Dover, England
We’ve prepared a briefing which outlines our view on the Illegal Migration Bill ahead of its second reading in parliament.

The bill focuses on a number of challenges with the UK asylum system. Specifically, it aims to deal with migrants who have entered the UK via irregular means by:

  • removing them back to their home country or a ‘safe’ third country such as Rwanda
  • block them from accessing modern slavery protections
  • only hearing human rights claims after removal

Our view

We are concerned that the Bill may be incompatible with our international obligations under the European Court of Human Rights. Breaching our international obligations undermines the rule of law.

The Bill will fundamentally reduce the oversight of our courts. More cases are likely to end up in Strasbourg, which puts the UK at increased legal liability. 

The Bill contains limited safeguards that, coupled with restrictive timescales for appeal, are likely to diminish access to justice for everyone caught by its provisions. It is unclear where those in detention will be held and how they will access legal advice.

Tens of thousands of people could be detained indefinitely, at extensive cost to the UK taxpayer, as no ‘safe’ third country (beyond Rwanda) is available. It is not clear that this bill is workable on its own terms.

This could all have significant implications for our reputation as a reliable nation that upholds its international responsibilities, which has long underpinned our position as an attractive hub for global investment and as a bastion of the rule of law.

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