Britain is to see the ‘biggest overhaul of our asylum system in decades’ according to Home Secretary, Priti Patel.
Ms Patel is expected to say in her speech to the Conservative Party Conference, that Illegal arrivals will be prevented from making ‘endless legal claims to remain’ and also the removal of people with no right to live in the UK is to be speeded up. She claims that present arrangements let people down who have genuinely fled danger overseas by leaving them ‘stuck’ in a failing system. A fair asylum system should provide safe haven to those fleeing persecution, oppression or tyranny. But ours doesn’t do that because our asylum system is fundamentally broken and we have a responsibility to act. Right now the most vulnerable are stuck in this broken system with over 40,000 other people. At the moment almost half of these claims take a year or more to reach a decision, which costs the UK taxpayer over £1billion each year – the highest amount in almost two decades.
Ms Patel is to describe the plight of a young person who legally claimed asylum but was left languishing in the broken system and also detail the case of a ‘dangerous foreign national offender’ who has committed an ‘abhorrent crime’ and uses ‘meritless’ claims to stay in the UK. Ms Patel will also give an example of someone who reached Britain in a small boat having first ‘passed through numerous safe countries’ where it would have been possible to claim asylum. From the expulsion of Ugandan Asians by a repressive regime, to proudly resettling more Syrian refugees than any other EU country, to supporting campaigners fleeing political persecution in Hong Kong, under Conservative leadership the United Kingdom has and always will provide sanctuary when the lights are being switched off on peoples liberties’.
She goes on to say that she will introduce a new system that is ‘new and fair. Fair and compassionate towards those who need help, fair by welcoming people through safe and legal routes, but firm because we will stop the abuse of the broken system. Firm because we will stop those who come here illegally making endless legal claims to remain and firm because we will expedite the removal of those who have no claim for protection.
‘After decades of inaction by successive governments we will address the moral, legal and practical problems with this broken system’. Because what exists now is neither firm or fair’.
I will bring forward legislation to deliver on that commitment. I will take every necessary step to fix this broken system, amounting to the biggest overhaul of our asylum system in decades.
The Home Secretary also promises to crack down on gangs that continue to bring people to the UK illegally. She is to accelerate our operational response to illegal migration and continue to hunt down the criminal gangs who traffic people into our country. ‘I will continue to use the full force of our outstanding National Crime Agency and Intelligence agencies to go after them. We will make more immediate returns of those who come here illegally and break our rules, every week.
Esther McVey, a former Cabinet minister and a leading figure in the Blue Collar Conservatism Movement welcomed Ms Patels tough message. ‘I am delighted we have a Home Secretary who is so in tune with the Blue Collar Conservatism agenda of clamping down on illegal immigration and being tough on crime’. She said: “We must deliver on this agenda and we will fully support Priti Patel in doing so”.