Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/257/24713

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 June 2002

Blunkett's New Attack On Asylum Rights

HOME SECRETARY David Blunkett has announced two additions to the Asylum Bill currently going through parliament, which are a major attack on the rights of refugees seeking asylum in Britain.

The first is removing the right of appeal while in the UK to any asylum seeker with a claim that is "clearly unfounded". Blunkett says that this will mean a decision could be made on a claim "within a matter of one or two days".

A claim cannot be investigated within this time-scale. The decision would not be based on an investigation, but simply on whether the country of origin is on a "safe" list. According to the Refugee Council, if this bill had been law last year, it would have prevented over 1,400 Sri Lankan refugees from having the right to remain in Britain, as they had their initial rejection overturned on appeal.

The appeals process is hard enough for most asylum seekers to use while here, conducting it from outside the UK would be virtually impossible.

The second addition is to enable the deportation of any asylum seeker to "a safe country", without the right to appeal against their removal while in the UK. The introduction of a "safe list" is a return to the vicious attacks on asylum rights made under the last Tory government.

When Michael Howard brought in his "white list" of "safe" countries in 1996, New Labour leaders called it a "nasty little bill", an "effective demolition of the existing asylum process" and "an abdication by the government of its responsibilities under international law". New Labour repealed the act after coming to power, only to bring back the essence of it now.

The latest statistics show an increase in asylum applicants of 8% in the first quarter, but this is not highly significant when balanced against an 11% fall last year.

Blunkett is carrying out these attacks partly to try to avoid an argument over the increase, and over new figures showing increased spending on asylum applicants.

Over 1 billion was spent on asylum seekers' support in the financial year 2001/2, against a Home Office budget of just 403m which even Blunkett was forced to describe as inadequate.

Blunkett is also trying to gain support from Tory and far-right voters by echoing the policies of these parties.

He has made comments which play up fears that the number of asylum seekers is out of control, and even praised the assassinated leader of the far-right in the Netherlands, Pim Fortuyn, for some of his "more rational" policies on immigration.

Tory Home Affairs spokesman Oliver Letwin understated the case when he said: "inch by inch, the government is moving towards our position".

Blunkett faces many obstacles in using his proposed additional powers. For instance there are no third countries at present that would accept asylum seekers rejected by Britain.

Also, there could be disagreements from the Law Lords as there have been in the past on what is a "clearly unfounded" claim and what is a "safe country". In a court case in December 2000, even France and Germany were ruled as being unsafe for refugees because of their narrower definition of the term "refugee".

In fact many immigration experts have declared the proposals unworkable and assumed they must be for propaganda purposes only.

However, despite the difficulties of implementation, these measures pose a serious threat to the basic rights of refugees and must be strongly opposed.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 7 June 2002:

Kashmir conflict: Workers' Unity to Stop Nuclear Threat

Local government workers: Vote Yes For Action!

Blunkett's New Attack On Asylum Rights

PCS: Defend Union Democracy

Drugs Policies Still Aren't Working

Kashmir conflict: Capitalist Crisis Threatens Nuclear War

Kashmir: On The Brink Of A Catastrophe


 

Home   |   The Socialist 7 June 2002   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Asylum:

triangleRoyal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

triangleInterview: Refugee Rights Campaign

triangle40% of England's psychiatric wards are 'unsafe'

triangleSupport for Socialist Party campaigns at biggest ever Leeds Pride

triangleDerby Socialist Party: Solidarity with refugees - defend the right to asylum

Refugees:

triangleHundreds of torture victims wrongly detained

triangleGerman elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

triangleBrutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

triangleG20 betrays refugees created by its own policies

Britain:

triangleMobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

triangleEast London & Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: 2017 - From Trump to Paradise Papers; a year in review

triangleWestminster sexual harassment scandal: symptom of a rotten system

Appeal:

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

triangleDon't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

8/12/17

Government

Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

6/12/17

Labour

Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

6/12/17

NHS

Branson sues NHS: kick out the profiteers

6/12/17

Immigration

Royal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

6/12/17

Banks

RBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks

6/12/17

Homelessness

Rough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

6/12/17

Poverty

End Tory war on poor

6/12/17

Rail

Nationalise rail now

29/11/17

Them & Us

Them & us

29/11/17

Homes

Tory housing policy: build zilch, hike prices

29/11/17

Wages

Make the Tories history

29/11/17

Birmingham

Birmingham bin workers win!

29/11/17

British economy

Amber warning lights flash on British economy

23/11/17

Pay

After the budget - unions must launch pay fight

22/11/17

Climate change

Carbon dioxide hits 800,000-year high: end profit-driven pollution

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2