Letter: Pax tyrannicus
Each day we read about new aspects of the UK government’s Illegal Migration Bill presently going through Parliament. We are now told that “exempting children arriving in the UK on small boats from detention would create a ‘pull factor’ and would put minors at risk”. The overarching message seems to be that any other country – be it Rwanda or “ a safe third country” should have the responsibility for asylum seekers – but not the UK.
When the UK was part of the European Union, the Dublin Convention (Dublin III) decided which nation was responsible for processing asylum claims. As from January 2021, the Dublin III Regulation no longer applies to the UK. When it was in force, the UK could argue that another European state had the responsibility for processing claims. That is no longer an option. Brexit made that clear. Prior to the UK’s exit, many other European countries took in more asylum seekers than the UK.
Now there is another plan to offload our international obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention and it has come to this. The message that will be conveyed is that the UK is no longer a country which wishes to consider giving refuge to those fleeing persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. How very sad.
Patricia S. Quigley WS