E.U. tells U.K. its asylum plan ‘violating international law.’


Johansson’s comments are the most delinquent international backlash against the British government’s Illegal Migration Bill, unveiled this week to stop small boats arriving on the country’s shores.
Responding to Johansson’s comments, a U.K. Home Office official confirmed the call had occurred but said Braverman “said to the commissioner before her Commons account and the bill’s publication.”
They added: “She collided with the commissioner and asked her to read the point of the bill once it was published.”
The U.K. government aims to make it easier to detain and deport people coming into the country via irregular means. Braverman has claimed that while the U.K. will “always keep the world’s most vulnerable,” current books have “overwhelmed our asylum system.” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has created “stopping the boats” as one of his key priorities.

But the United Nations refugee agent (UNHCR) said Tuesday that the U.K.’s statement would amount to an “asylum ban” by “destroying the right to seek protection protection” for those who arrive irregularly, “no matter how authentic and compelling their claim may be.”
Johansson, a home affairs commissioner responsible for E.U. migration and asylum policy, told the finger at Britain’s asylum system, which now faces sizable backlogs.
“Britain has a very, very slow sanatorium process system,” Johansson said, counting that people have a right to claim asylum — even if their shares are eventually denied. “You have to have some kind of personal assessment of people arriving before you just put them into custody,” she added.
There is, Johansson said, a motivation within the E.U. to ensure that “those that are probably not in need of global protection should still have the freedom to have their application considered — but much quicker.” In that case, she said returns, if necessary, can happen much faster.
The E.U. is not directly involved in the U.K. asylum policy. Instead, cross-Channel migration is a bilateral matter between France and the U.K.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Sunak are selected to debate cross-channel boats at a France-U.K. summit in Paris this Friday.
However, the E.U.’s border administration agency, Frontex, plays an active part in the English Channel because the French and Belgian beaches form part of the E.U. external border. Frontex has sent boats and aircraft to ease migratory pressure in the past.
If the U.K. or its Conservative government — now led by prime minister Rishi Sunak — expected Brexit would crack the country’s immigration problems, it was wrong.
While the number of migrants coming from the E.U. to the U.K. has fallen since the U.K. voted to go in 2016, migrants from elsewhere are always trying, often via unofficial border crossings.
For instance, thousands of people have formed making dangerous journeys from France across the English Channel in small boats in the last five years. In 2018, when 300 people attempted the corner, the administration stated it was a significant incident.

But numbers in the years before have only risen. Some 28,500 people attempted to cross in small vessels in 2022, and another 46,000 in 2023. According to a January statement from the Refugee Council, a nongovernmental organization in the U.K, more than half of those people had fair grounds to seek refugee status. Nearly 8,700 of them were children. Most of these immigrants came from just five countries—Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Eritrea, and Sudan. Most now languish in the U.K. immigration system, housed in internment centers or hotels.
About 160,000 refugees from the Ukraine fighting have also come to the U.K., but under government schemes that allow them to enter the country, work, and claim benefits legally.

In an attempt to stem the discharge of migrants entering illegally, Sunak’s government drafted its most powerful plan to date, saying that the vast bulk of people who attempt to enter Britain without first securing permission will be jailed, deported, and even forcibly relocated in a “third country.” That third country is Rwanda, and former prime minister Boris Johnson brokered a contract in 2022 to outsource much of the U.K.’s processing of sanatorium claims to the African country.
Suella Braverman, the U.K. home secretary, gave the country’s most delinquent plan to curb immigration on March 7. During her speech, she said the U.K. government planned to set the bar “very high” when considering if a migrant’s life is in trouble at home and should be granted asylum.
“Only those beneath 18, medically unfit to fly, or at real risk of severe or irreversible harm — an extremely high bar — in the country we are releasing them to will be able to delay their removal,” she said. “Any other claims will be attended to remotely after removal.”

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Olivia Wilson
By Olivia Wilson


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