The European Union has urged British Parliament to reject a proposed bill against illegal immigration, claiming it contradicts international standards. Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in a letter to UK legislators, highlighted the key provisions of the bill that restrict the possibility of appeal for removals and make it easier to detain immigrants until their expulsion. While proponents defend the legislation as a deterrent to irregular immigration and a response to the political tension caused by the potential influx of undocumented migrants from France via the English Channel, critics claim the proposals violate international law and human rights.
Mijatovic expressed concern that the British government’s measures would restrict the UK’s obligations as per international law and asked legislators to stop the adoption of a bill that would contravene human rights legislation. The Bosnian nationalist commissioner further appealed to the government to provide a legal framework for safe migration as part of a broader solution for asylum seekers. She also suggested the government should expand safe and legal migration opportunities and allow those seeking protection in the UK to apply from France.
The French and UK governments had recently agreed to step up immigration enforcement patrols on the French coast and built a new detention center to deter discouraged migrants from crossing illegally from the north of France into the UK. Critics, however, claim that the move could create an inability in people seeking asylum irrelevant of their personal situation.
The adoption of this proposed bill could adversely impact the protection offered to refugees and asylum seekers by the UK in recent years, leading to a major setback. If the bill is passed, human rights groups argue that the UK could be accused of contravening the international obligations it made towards protecting human rights. The issue continues to be a matter of considerable concern among lawmakers and human rights organizations.