PM Rishi Sunak has promised to end the small boats once and for all, by introducing the illegal immigration bill.
Critics including former Tory ministers have claimed it is doomed to be halted by challenges in the European court of human rights.
However, to get the government’s message across Rishi Sunak recently tweeted an infographic which read: “If you come to the UK illegally you will be DENIED access to the UK’s modern slavery system.”
Half of the people who crossed the channel last year came from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iran, Sudan or Syria. At least 80% of asylum claims from those countries are currently granted. For Afghanistan, Eritrea and Syria the figure is 98%.
Rebecca Stevenson, trafficking policy expert at Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) told Politics Home: “I understand the motivation for the government’s bill. But for victims of modern slavery – and, many will argue, for all migrants crossing the channel – the legislation is desperate news.
“I would remind the government of the commitments it made to confirmed victims of human trafficking during the passage of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 and ask how it will ensure modern slavery victims are properly identified and helped to live free.”
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Prof. Christina Pagel tweeted: “What does this even mean?? Do we want access to the UK slavery system?”
Adam Beinkov also tweeted: “I’m not saying the government has lost its moral compass but they’re now boasting about the fact they won’t help actual slaves.”