The archbishop of Canterbury will make a rare intervention in the House of Lords to join scores of peers condemning the government’s flagship asylum bill.
Justin Welby will argue against measures promoted by Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman which seek to criminalize people who seek asylum in the UK when they arrive in small boats.
The illegal immigration law is expected to face a series of demands for significant changes. Almost 90 peers were listed to speak in its second reading on Wednesday, with the chamber sitting earlier, from 11am, to allow for more contributions.
The draft plans, which cleared the Commons last month, would change the law so that those who arrive in the UK without permission cannot stay to claim asylum and will instead be detained and removed, either from their home country or a third that country. , like Rwanda.
This is the first time Welby, the most senior cleric in the Church of England, has publicly criticized the law. He has previously criticized the way the refugee debate has been conducted.
Speaking in the Lords in December, Welby urged politicians and the public to reject “horrendous narratives that everyone who comes to us for help must be treated as liars, scroungers or less than human”.
His comments were widely thought to be critical of Braverman, who has previously described the growing number of people coming to the UK to seek asylum as “an invasion”.
The home secretary recently claimed many of the arrivals had “increased levels of criminality” – a claim he said was backed up by conversations with senior police officers but was not’ y data.
Colleagues are expected to call for changes to the law to ensure safer and more legal routes are opened for those fleeing the war. Critics pointed out that the bill would oblige the home secretary to detain thousands of migrants every year.
It includes provisions that would limit the ability of the European court of human rights to prevent the deportation of asylum seekers.
The clampdown was prompted by Sunak’s pledge to “stop the boats” taking people across the Channel. More than 6,000 people have been seen making the crossing so far in 2023.
The government plans to use disused military camps and a barge as accommodation centers. But critics argue that the flagship immigration policy violates international law and threatens modern slavery protections.
In a rare parliamentary move, Liberal Democrat Brian Paddick, a former senior police officer, proposed a so-called fatal motion on the bill, aiming to stop it in its tracks in the first place. parliamentary hurdle.
However, the attempt is destined to fail without the support of the main opposition.