Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://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 New Labour repealed the act after coming to power, only to bring back the essence of it now.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:

triangleVienna: 50,000 march against racism and austerity

triangleSweden: School strike against deportations

triangleRoyal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

triangleInterview: Refugee Rights Campaign

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

Refugees:

triangleFrance: rallies in support of oppressed Kurdish people

triangle90 feared dead after migrant boat capsizes

triangleTamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

triangleHundreds of torture victims wrongly detained

Britain:

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: 100 years of votes for women

triangleYork Socialist Party: Britain in 2018

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Britain today - How can austerity be defeated?

Appeal:

triangleThe Socialist Party is being evicted - we need you!

triangleStop the war on the Kurds

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

19/2/18

Election

Usdaw victory - Socialist Party member Amy Murphy wins presidential election

14/2/18

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil youth march for justice

14/2/18

Foreign Aid

Oxfam scandal: we need democratic aid and working class solidarity

14/2/18

TUSC

Building support for Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the local elections

14/2/18

EU

What we saw: Tory-Blairite EU love-in

14/2/18

Rents

Rent doubles in a decade: cap rents, build council homes!

14/2/18

Public ownership

McDonnell says Labour would put services 'irreversibly' in workers' hands

14/2/18

NHS

We can win the fight for the NHS

7/2/18

Labour

NHS - build the fightback

7/2/18

Labour

Corbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war

7/2/18

Haringey

Haringey: now's our chance for a no-cuts council

7/2/18

Refugees

90 feared dead after migrant boat capsizes

7/2/18

Outsourcing

Capita in crisis: bring all outsourcers back in-house

7/2/18

Trump

Trump v NHS

31/1/18

NHS

NHS: use the 3 February protests as a launch pad for a mass movement

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999