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Suella Braverman to call for overhaul of UN refugee convention...
Home secretary to say people should not be able to claim asylum just because they face discrimination as women, or for being gay
Good morning. Suella Braverman, the home secretary, is in Washington today where she is going to deliver a speech that marks a significant escalation of her attempts to dismantle current laws protecting refugees. In part this is a personal crusade – Politico this morning says she is firing the starting gun for the next Conservative leadership contest, which is a reasonable take – but it is also government/party policy. What she is saying is consistent with the direction taken by Rishi Sunak.
The government passed the Illegal Immigration Act because it wants to establish the principle that people who arrive in the UK illegally on small boats have no right to claim asylum. The act has become law, but it has not been implemented yet because arguably it goes beyond what is allowed under international human rights law and and these issues have got to be resolved by the supreme court.
Braverman will claim that almost 800 million people could claim the right to move to another country under the convention. She was criticised in March for telling MPs that there were 100 million people in the world who might qualify for asylum in the UK. (She did not say they were all heading for the Channel, but some people felt that was the message she was trying to convey.) Today she is using a figure almost eight times as large. She will reportedly say:
When the refugee convention was signed, it conferred protection on some two million people in Europe.
According to analysis by Nick Timothy and Karl Williams for the Centre for Policy Studies, it now confers the notional right to move to another country upon at least 780 million people.
She will says that people should not be able to claim asylum just because they face discrimination as women, or for being gay. She will reportedly say:
I think most members of the public would recognise those fleeing a real risk of death, torture, oppression or violence, as in need of protection.
However, as case law has developed, what we have seen in practice is an interpretive shift away from ‘persecution’, in favour of something more akin to a definition of ‘discrimination’ …Continue reading...
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