‘Shameful day’ as MPs vote to end free movement

Monday, 28 January, 2019

Responding to the vote in favour of the Immigration Bill at its second reading in the House of Commons tonight, Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now said:

“Today MPs have voted to strip millions of people of their rights. It's a shameful day for Britain.

“While we are optimistic about amending some of the worst of this bill as it goes through parliament, MPs should have been fundamentally opposed to it from the outset. Just like the trade bill, it hands massive powers to the government to remake the immigration system through Henry VIII powers which allow it to bypass parliament.

“Giving such sweeping powers to a government which has brought us the hostile environment, and which is intent on signing up to some of the worst aspects of EU migration policy by contracting out our responsibilities for refugees to deeply repressive regimes, cannot be a good idea.

“What’s more, far from ending the hostile environment, which has been exposed as cruel and ineffective, this bill in effect extends it – as well as the detention and deportation system – to millions more people. Passing the bill would represent a big step backwards for global justice.

“All of this results from a political choice to interpret the Brexit referendum as a mandate to abolish free movement. If politicians had the courage to make the arguments in favour of free movement, that would never have been necessary. Instead, we all face a diminished future.”

Photo: David McKelvey/Flickr