"I think we have an absolute duty to treat people humanely to keep people safe. I have absolute horror at the prospect.”
A former Tory immigration minister has condemned the government’s latest policies towards asylum seekers, saying that the illegal migration bill gives her ‘absolute horror’.
Caroline Nokes says that the legislation, which has already been condemned by the UN and human rights groups and which even Home Secretary Suella Braverman has conceded more than likely breaks international law, would potentially criminalise pregnant women, children and families seeking refuge.
Speaking to Times Radio, the Romsey and Southampton North MP said: “I’ve made that clear to my whip, I can’t vote for this.
“I didn’t vote for the last [immigration bill], I won’t be voting for this one. I might be an outlier in my party, but I think we have an absolute duty to treat people humanely to keep people safe. I have absolute horror at the prospect.”
The latest bill places a legal duty on the Home Secretary to remove migrants who arrive in the country illegally. They will be swiftly sent to their home country if it is deemed safe, or to a safe third country such as Rwanda, where they will be “supported to rebuild their lives”, the Home Office said.
Under the new legislation, all those who arrive illegally will be declared inadmissible to stay. The proposed law also means that people who come to the UK illegally will be prevented from settling in the country and will face a permanent ban on returning.
Nokes went on to add: “I am deeply troubled at the prospect of a policy which seeks to criminalise children, pregnant women, families and remove them to Rwanda.
“I didn’t vote for the last nationality and borders bill, that hasn’t achieved its aim in reducing crossings. In fact, we’ve seen them increase, and I fail to see what this legislation is going to do to act as a deterrent.”
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward