Nationality and Borders Bill — New Clause — Compliance with the Refugee Convention — 22 Mar 2022 at 16:18
The majority of MPs voted not to explicitly require that no refugees will be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom as a result of the operation of new asylum laws. The majority of MPs also voted not to require co-operation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in connection with new asylum laws.
The motion supported by the majority of MPs in this vote was:
That this House disagrees with Lords amendment 5.
- Insert the following new Clause—
- “Compliance with the Refugee Convention
- Nothing in this Part authorises policies or decisions which do not comply with the United Kingdom’s obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees."
In relation to the 1951 convention: "The core principle is non-refoulement, which asserts that a refugee should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom."
The 1967 protocol provides for co-operation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Had the proposed new Clause not been rejected it would have been inserted before Clause 11 and therefore applied to Part 2 of the Bill which related to Asylum and included provisions which:
- * to permit asylum seekers with applications pending being removed to other safe countries, or being required to go to such countries.
- * to permit treating refugees who have not "come to the United Kingdom directly from a country or territory where their life or freedom was threatened" and "presented themselves without delay to the authorities" differently from other refugees.
- * to empower ministers to require asylum seekers to stay in accommodation centres for longer.
- * to set out classes of designated places where asylum claims must be made.
- * to deem asylum claims from EU nationals, or those with a connection to a third safe state, inadmissible, other than in exceptional circumstances
- * to introduce a deadline for provision of evidence in support of protection or human rights claim, and to generally give little weight to evidence produced late.
- * to introduce priority removal notices, and expedited processes, for certain applicants for asylum.
- * to cap legal aid for those subject to priority removal notices at seven hours of aid.
- * to "stipulate that a person will not be deemed to have come directly if they have stopped in another country between leaving the country where they faced persecution and arriving in the UK" with exceptions, and to provide that those who did not come directly may face penalties "on grounds of their illegal presence or illegal entry into the UK".
- * to reduce "the threshold at which a refugee is considered to have committed a particularly serious crime, and so is potentially subject to removal on the grounds they constitute a danger.
- * to create a new criminal offence of arriving in the UK without a valid entry clearance (updating a previous offence of "knowingly entering the UK without leave").
- * to raise the maximum penalty for "assisting unlawful immigration or asylum seekers" from 14 years’ to life imprisonment
- * to create a new civil penalty that may be issued on persons responsible for goods vehicles that have not been adequately secured, whether or not there is someone hiding in their vehicle.
- * "to provide a statutory minimum period to enable individuals to access justice prior to removal and makes provisions for removing individuals, following a failed departure, without the need for a further notice period."
- * to enable consideration of if an individual has failed to cooperate with processes when deciding if to release them on immigration bail.
-  Parliament's webpage on the Nationality and Borders Bill, Parliament.uk
-  Nationality and Borders Bill, as brought to the House of Lords, from the Commons, on 9 December 2021, Parliament.uk
-  Explanatory notes to the Nationality and Borders Bill, as brought to the House of Lords, from the Commons, on 9 December 2021, Parliament.uk
-  Lords amendments to the Nationality and Borders Bill 15 March 2022, Parliament.uk
-  Explanatory notes on Lords amendments to the Nationality and Borders Bill 21 March 2022, Parliament.uk
-  1951 Refugee Convention, UNHCR.org
-  1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, OHCHR.org
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (Aye)||Minority (No)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||309 (+2 tell)||0||0||85.9%|
|Lab||0||162 (+2 tell)||0||82.0%|