Speaking for Ourselves

A dangerous Bill – how do we go forward?

A dangerous Bill – how do we go forward?


 Migrant Voice - A dangerous Bill – how do we go forward?


“Shocking”, one of our members said. “I can't believe it's happened. I still have hope that this will be reversed. The system is already too hostile as it is.”

The Government’s controversial Nationality and Borders Bill was voted through the House of Commons 298 to 231 on 8 December.

Another member said: “This is an extremely dangerous power-grabbing Bill, that would make people think that they do not actually belong to this country. This Bill will cause immense human suffering to some of the most vulnerable people in our society who passionately love this country. The sooner this Bill is scrapped, the better.”

The Bill would give the government powers to turn migrants away from the UK while at sea. It would also make it a criminal offence to arrive in the UK without permission – an action that makes a mockery of the internationally agreed concept of asylum.

It would allow for the government to strip citizenship without warning from people born outside of the UK. According to one report, "two in every five people from non-white ethnic minorities (41%) are likely to be eligible for deprivation of citizenship".

The Bill was doomed from the outset by a repeat of the Windrush failure, which involved inadequate consultation with people who have real experience of migration and asylum.

That failure was compounded by a decision to pander to the headlines instead of thinking through the more complex task of seriously making, in the Home Office’s own words, “the most significant overhaul of our asylum system in over two decades”.

So much is wrong with this legislation, and almost all the faults stem from a mind-set that emphasises detention, criminalisation, penalisation over humanity and rights.

The Bill now progresses to the House of Lords. The chamber has a historic opportunity to fulfil its role and make the government see why this Bill should be scrapped.

For all of us migrants and organisations working for change what matters now is how we go forward. The only way we can resist this extension of the Hostile Environment is through continuing to build solidarity. Build on the moments where humans stand up for other humans.

We need to continue organising ourselves to speak out against this Bill and others that may follow it. Ensure we are heard on legislation that affects us directly. We need to continue to show this government that this Bill is not safe and that they do not act for us.

Fundamentally we need  to restore the idea that all human life is intrinsically valuable, yours and mine, so we value saving people, not pushing them back.

Get in touch

Migrant Voice
VAI, 200a Pentonville Road,
N1 9JP

Phone: +44 (0) 207 832 5824
Email: [email protected]

Registered Charity
Number: 1142963 (England and Wales); SC050970 (Scotland)

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