Angela raises concerns for refugees in Crime and Policing Bill debate

Angela Crawley MP this week raised concerns about barriers for refugees coming to the UK in a Westminster debate.

Specifically, the Lanark and Hamilton East MP raised concerns about the immigration powers in the Crime and Policing Bill, which could compromise the EU refugee convention should the legislation be passed.

During the debate, Angela said:

“Article 33 of the refugee convention states that no Contracting State shall expel or return a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened.

“That fundamental duty is one of the central pillars, if not the central pillar, of the refugee convention and the Government are bound by that duty as a matter of domestic and international law.

“It is therefore concerning this bill appear to give the Secretary of State power to require ships intercepted in UK water to be detained and sent to a port outside the UK.

“Nothing in the proposals requires the Secretary of State or her enforcement officers to use those powers in a way that is compatible with the refugee convention and the work of the European Court of Human Rights.

“I therefore ask the Minister to say unambiguously today that he intends to comply with the refugee convention and the European Court of Human Rights.

Commenting after the debate, Angela said:

“Although the majority of the legislation being debated in the chamber today wouldn’t affect my constituents, this particular part would.

“We have seen in recent weeks refugees thanking the residents of South Lanarkshire for welcoming them with open arms.

“We must make sure that our local efforts aren’t hampered by this UK wide legislation.