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Government Eliminates the Possibility of Establishing Additional Safe and Legal Routes for Asylum Seekers

The government has declined the pressure of campaigners to open additional safe and legal routes as an alternative to illegal crossings into the English Channel.

The government has also rejected establishing more safe and legal routes for asylum seekers coming to Britain. In July 2023, the Illegal Migration Act was approved, and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made it clear that those entering the UK illegally cannot claim asylum. According to the act, the government was obligated to release a report outlining the existing safe and legal routes for asylum seekers and to announce any new plans.

When campaigners saw the publication of the report, they were disappointed to find that no additional schemes were included. Instead, the report reiterated Mr. Sunak’s warning about illegal entry into the UK.

It stated emphatically that those entering the UK illegally will not be able to stay and will face removal. The government is also planning to implement its Rwanda policy, aiming to immediately transfer anyone arriving illegally to Rwanda. Over 40 Conservative MPs are expected to vote against it, considering that it does not go far enough to block possible legal avenues for appeal. In light of the upcoming general election, the government is determined to make immigration a major issue and has accused the Labour party of being lenient on illegal immigrants.

Government Committed to ‘Providing Safe and Legal Routes’

In a written statement to Parliament, Home Secretary James Cleverly affirmed the government’s commitment to offering safe and legal routes for those most in need, stating that Britain has a proud history of protecting the most vulnerable. He added that the government will consider doing more to support refugees and potentially introduce new safe and legal routes.

The Home Office report also highlighted that the government collaborated with the Ukrainian government to create unique visa routes for the people of Ukraine in response to the invasion of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Additionally, it emphasized the right of British Nationals from Hong Kong to come to the UK if they perceived their rights and freedoms to be at risk. The report also outlined several existing schemes under which asylum seekers can come to the UK, including the UK Resettlement Scheme, the Mandate Scheme, Family Reunion, and the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme.

However, Refugee Council Chief Executive Enver Solomon criticized the government’s plans, stating that they are inadequate and lack a substantial commitment to expanding safe routes for refugees in need of protection. Solomon emphasized the urgent need to reduce dangerous channel crossings by providing safe passage to the UK for refugees.

PA Media contributed to this report.

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