UK/France: New deal to prevent people crossing the Channel is 'heartless and anti-refugee'

© AFP via Getty Images

In response to the UK and France striking a deal to prevent people seeking asylum crossing the Channel, Steve Valdez-Symonds, Amnesty International UK’s Refugee and Migrant Rights Director, said:

“The UK and French governments should make an agreement to share responsibility for providing asylum to people - not more heartless anti-refugee measures that simply seek to absolve the UK from any responsibility at all.

“Seeking asylum is a vital human right, not something that can be banned or withdrawn for political convenience.

“The UK receives a relatively small number of the world’s refugees, and it increasingly treats these people atrociously - with ministers vilifying traumatised and marginalised people in the media and condemning them to months or even years of social isolation, deprivation and detention.

“Fortress Britain policies won’t work and people will continue to drown in the Channel if ministers stubbornly refuse to make safe routes available to people seeking asylum - particularly when they have family or other strong connections here.

“The Government has deliberately destroyed its own asylum system and is now legislating to try to make that destruction permanent.

“Throwing more money at the French, the Rwandan or any other government cannot fix what the UK government has wrecked.

“Without a major change of direction from Sunak and Braverman the terrible consequences of their vandalism of human rights laws and the asylum system is set to get even worse.”

View latest press releases