Remainer peers launch plot to scupper Government migrant bill as law hits Lords

Robert Jenrick defends Illegal Migration Bill

Remainer Peers are attempting to scupper the Government’s efforts to crack down on small boat crossings. Tomorrow, dozens of peers will demand changes to the Illegal Migration Bill, claiming it is unworkable and unethical. The Immigration Bill passed through the House of Commons passed by 289 votes to 230 but it is expected to face significant opposition in the House of Lords.

It is understood Tory MPs expect the legislation to be dismantled by the upper chamber before it is sent back to the House of Commons for final consideration.

The Bill will impose a duty on the home secretary to detain and remove people who have entered the UK illegally to a “safe” third country.

The legislation removes temporary protections for suspected victims of modern slavery, allowing them to be removed to a third country such as Rwanda.

Lord Paddick – ex-deputy assistant commissioner of the Met Police – called for the bill to be denied a second reading.

He said it should be blocked, claiming it does not meet the UK’s international law commitments.

A Labour source in the Lords told the Mirror that there is “wide concern” over this legislation, accusing the Government of pursuing “gimmick” legislation.

They said: “The range of Peers who’ve signed up for Second Reading is an indication of the wide concern that exists with this legislation, and the tough scrutiny and challenges it will face in the months ahead.

“The small boat crisis needs tackling head on but this gimmick of a Bill won’t deal with the major problems and misery caused by those who traffic and exploit vulnerable people, risk lives, and undermine our border security.

“And the headlong rush to get it on the statute book will also see genuine asylum seekers stuck in a semi-permanent limbo while the backlog of claims gets longer and longer.”

A total of 87 peers have signed up to speak in the debate.

The source continued: “There is, of course, an opportunity – as ever when a Bill is in the Lords – for Ministers to listen to the warnings and advice, especially in relation to modern slavery, child safeguarding, safe and legal routes of passage, and crime enforcement against the gangs.

“And the speakers’ list for Second Reading suggests judicial oversight, international law, and the lack of an impact assessment are also set to be key pinch points.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is also expected to speak out on the legislation, of which he has been a vocal critic.

Speaking in December, Dr Welby urged politicians and the public to reject the “shrill narratives that all who come to us for help should be treated as liars, scroungers or less than fully human”.

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