Tag Archives: borders

Lords cave in on undemocratic Tory laws ahead of closure of Parliament

Have you got your ID? If not, you won’t be able to vote in Parliamentary elections across the UK or local elections in England after the Tory government succeeded in restricting the number of people allowed to exercise their democratic right, affecting millions of people. Are you among those targeted by this?

A mass of undemocratic and despotic new laws are to come into being after cowardly Lords gave up their opposition to corrupt Tory government plans.

The Nationality and Borders Bill is to receive Royal Assent after peers gave up their principles.

It means Priti Patel’s plan to send asylum-seekers to live in Rwanda, rather than the UK, will be put into practice just as soon as she can get all the mechanisms in place, and never mind that it costs more than sending these people to live at the Ritz.

It will also become a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally. This is hugely contentious because Patel has closed down all legal routes for asylum-seekers to enter the UK. The daughter of refugees herself, she has literally pulled up the ladder behind her, as the saying goes.

Fortunately, it seems other organisations have more backbone than the Lords. According to the BBC,

More than 200 organisations, including Oxfam and Save the Children, said they would challenge its outcomes, calling it “anti-refugee”.

The Elections Bill has been passed by both Houses of Parliament, meaning the Tory government will be able to restrict whether you are allowed to vote or not, based on whether you have a particular form of photographic identification. Millions of people don’t.

Meanwhile, the 15-year limit on rich UK citizens living abroad being allowed to vote will be scrapped.

The undemocratic upshot of these two measures will be that it will be much easier for people living overseas to vote – and without any barriers like photo ID, while it will be much harder for domestic citizens to do the same.

The Tory government is also seizing control of the Electoral Commission, meaning oversight of the way electoral law is administered will no longer be independent and your corrupt government will be able to twist the way elections are run in order to suit itself.

Finally, a bid to deprive even more people of access to justice has been passed: the Judicial Review and Courts Bill will stop the funding of bereaved families’ legal representation at inquests involving public bodies. If This Writer understands correctly, it means that if somebody dies because of a failure by such an organisation, their families will be unable to seek justice from those responsible unless they are independently wealthy (which seems unlikely).

Parliament is being prorogued today (Thursday, April 28), having been back in session for only a matter of days after the Easter break. It will not meet again until May 10, when a new session will begin with a Queen’s Speech laying out Boris Johnson’s plans for the following year or so.

Some legislation has been carried over to the new Parliamentary session, including the long-awaited and controversial Online Safety Bill, which will seek to criminalise certain abusive and antisocial behaviours on the Internet and regulate online companies in line with those measures.

The big surprise for many people must be the silence from Opposition leader Keir Starmer. He should be trumpeting that a Labour government will reverse the corrupt and undemocratic measures in these new laws but instead it seems he supports them.

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Lords upset Tory plan to strip people of UK citizenship without warning

Priti Patel: does she look like a reasonable person to you? No? Then she’s not likely to persuade the Lords to accept her racist plan to change immigration law.

Here’s a sticky mess for the Tories – their hugely controversial plan to strip people of their UK citizenship, without warning, has been overturned in the House of Lords.

According to the BBC,

The Nationality and Borders Bill would allow the UK authorities to strip someone of their British citizenship without warning.

But crossbench peer Baroness D’Souza, who argued this would be “unjust”, submitted an amendment which was passed by a majority of 44 votes.

The bill will now go back to the House of Commons.

Until the two Houses can agree on the final wording of the bill, it cannot pass into law.

This is known as “Parliamentary ping-pong” – a frivolous phrase for a process that can cause a huge amount of harm to a huge number of people.

In practise, the government would normally steamroll over the Lords’ objections – but it seems Priti Patel doesn’t have time for that.

The current Parliamentary session is expected to end within the next few weeks, and all its business will end with it – whether it has been concluded or not.

So Patel will need to work out whether she’ll need to make compromises before the Lords give up.

She is adamant that the change is needed as a matter of national security, but we can all see that this is nonsense – can’t we?

Minority groups say the Bill is an attempt to turn them into second-class citizens, to be dismissed from the UK at the whim of an uncaring (racist?) Tory government.

So the Lords are unlikely to cave in if they have a good chance to kill this legislation, and Patel is not known for giving ground in a reasonable way.

This will be worth watching.

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Government votes down calls to change asylum and immigration reforms

Border Force: the government wants refugees picked up by these officials to be sent to a phenomenally expensive purpose-built site on Ascension Island. Lunacy.

The Conservative government has voted to support extremely expensive changes to the immigration and asylum system, in spite of objections from its own party.

Tory Andrew Mitchell said plans for an offshore processing system for asylum seekers – on Ascension Island, after bids to put one in Ghana, Rwanda, Albania and Denmark were all refused – were ridiculous.

He questioned how much such a policy would cost: “Judged by the costs of Australian offshoring the British taxpayer would face unprecedented costs per asylum seeker. It would be much cheaper to put each one in the The Ritz and send all the under-18s to Eton.”

David Davis previously described such a move as creating “a British Guantanamo Bay”.

Lords had removed the measure from the Nationality and Borders Bill last month, but MPs voted by 302 votes to 232, majority 70, to disagree with the Lords and put it back in.

A Lords amendment which sought to guarantee the UK takes in at least 10,000 refugees a year, which was rejected by 313 votes to 227 – a majority of 86 votes.

An attempt by peers to cut the time asylum seekers have to wait before they can work from 12 to six months was rejected by MPs by 291 votes to 232 – a majority of 59 votes – but the government did offer to meet concerned Tory MPs to discuss the issue further.

The legislation will now return to the Lords for peers to examine again in what is known as ‘parliamentary ping-pong’.

Source: Government sees off calls from some Tories to change asylum and immigrations reforms

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Patel plan to secretly strip people of UK citizenship is ‘offence to justice’ after court ruling

The Court of Appeal has struck down a Home Office decision to remove a British woman of her citizenship without telling her.

Home Secretary Priti Patel had tried to argue that notification had been given to D4, who has been detained in the Roj camp in Syria since January 2019, by simply placing a note on her Home Office file.

D4 was born in the UK in 1967 and had British nationality from birth, along with Pakistani nationality. The decision to strip her of British citizenship was made on December 27, 2019 but her solicitors were only informed when they wrote to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in September 2020, asking for help in repatriating her.

The Home Office’s claim relied on regulations that had been introduced by statutory instrument, without parliamentary approval.

But the court said the British Nationality Act 1981 required written notice to be given to someone of a decision to strip them of their citizenship and only parliament could decide to alter that requirement.

Lady Justice Whipple said: “The 1981 act does not confer powers of such breadth that the home secretary can deem notice to have been given where no step at all has been taken to communicate the notice to the person concerned and the order has simply been put on the person’s Home Office file. To permit that would be to permit the statute to be subverted by secondary legislation.”

Whipple said the purpose for requirement to give notice in the 1981 act was that “the person needs to know that a decision has been made; the person is entitled to know the reasons for that decision; and the person is put on notice of their appeal rights”.

This should have serious consequences for Patel’s current plan to remove the requirement to give notice – including retrospectively – as described in Clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill.

The ruling states that British justice requires a person to be told their nationality has been removed, to be given the reason for that decision, and to be told how they may appeal.

Failure to provide that information is an offence to justice.

Maya Foa, director of Reprieve, the charity representing people who suffer extreme human rights abuses (and note that this means the Home Office subject D4 to extreme abuse) said the decision confirmed that stripping a UK national of their citizenship in secret is illegal.

“But the government is already cynically attempting to circumvent the courts by using Clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill to render this ruling moot, making a mockery of the rule of law.

“Ministers should change course and recognise that depriving people of their citizenship without even telling them is an affront to British principles of justice and fairness.”

And what are ministers actually doing?

They are seeking permission from the Supreme Court to appeal against the ruling. The UK’s government has nothing but contempt for the rule of law.

Source: UK unlawfully stripped woman of citizenship without telling her – court | Home Office | The Guardian

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#BorisJohnson lies again over #BordersBill after being asked ‘When is he coming for me?’

Boris Johnson [Image: The Agitator].

Imran Hussein was right to ask when Boris Johnson was planning to strip him of his UK citizenship and deport him, under new powers his government intends to give itself.

The Nationality and Borders Bill, if enacted into law, will allow Home Secretary Priti Patel to strip anybody in the UK of their UK nationality, at any time, just because she feels like it.

Challenged on it in Prime Minister’s Questions, Johnson had the bare-faced cheek to scream that the Bill will only target people traffickers preying on refugees who have to use illegal means to try to reach the UK.

But this is simply untrue and he knows it; therefore it is another Johnson lie.

If the citizenship clause in the Bill was specifically and only referring to people traffickers, it would say so, explicitly. It does not.

Therefore we may safely assume that it will be used to strip innocent UK citizens of their nationality, arbitrarily and unjustly, no matter how many promises Johnson makes that it won’t.

What’s that saying again? It’s just been coined: “A Boris Johnson promise is just a lie that hasn’t happened yet.”

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Tragedy in the Channel as 31 PEOPLE die. The real refugee crisis is these deaths


Public figures including Priti Patel and Boris Johnson have rushed to mouth condolences after 31 people, including five women and a girl, died in the English Channel while trying to reach the UK.

It’s sickening hypocrisy from the government that has done its best to ensure that people are more likely to drown than reach our shores.

And what happens if we find evidence that Patel’s Home Office policies contributed to the deaths?

Remember: Patel’s Nationality and Borders Bill proposes that anyone arriving in the UK by an illegal route, such as by a small boat across the Channel, could have their claim ruled as inadmissible, receive a jail sentence of up to four years, have no recourse to public funds, and could have their family members barred from joining them, in breach of the UN refugee convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.

It states that refugees should use safe legal routes – but there are no such routes.

Clause 38 of the Bill potentially criminalises rescuers of asylum seekers if they are deemed to be “facilitating” their arrival in the UK. It has already set Patel at odds with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which has a Royal Charter to rescue anybody facing drowning within UK territorial waters – no matter what their legal status may be.

The Home Office has said the Bill is intended to target “ruthless people smugglers” and organisations like the RNLI – and individuals – would be allowed to continue humanitarian rescue work – but mere assertion doesn’t cut any ice. If so, why amend the law to criminalise all rescues?

Now consider the rhetoric coming from the Tories after today’s tragedy – the biggest single loss of life in the Channel since the International Organisation for Migration started collecting data in 2014.

Boris Johnson said the UK would leave “no stone unturned” to stop human trafficking gangs.

He was trying to justify the unreasonable and potentially fatal policy in his government’s Bill.

As for Priti Patel: It turns out she was told back in November 2019 that her policies were causing asylum-seekers to use more dangerous routes into the UK:

“A policy that focuses exclusively on closing borders will drive migrants to take more dangerous routes, and push them into the hands of criminal groups,” the report said.

She wasn’t interested then – possibly because the report’s advice was to provide more legal routes for asylum-seekers to enter the UK, and to address their reasons for wanting to leave their own lands. She is keen to continue ensuring there are no legal routes.

So Tory policy is to ensure that refugees/asylum seekers have no choice but to use illegal means to arrive in the UK – even if it means they may drown.

They have stoked hatred against these people – who may be fleeing the effects of warfare in their own countries, either caused directly by Western governments like the UK’s Tory administration, or using weapons sold to the combatants by those governments.

And they have falsely claimed there is a refugee crisis in the UK, with the number of refugees spiralling out of control.

Take a look at the graph below. Does it look like the UK has a serious crisis to you?

Oh, and Keir Starmer and his Labour racists aren’t blameless either.

Only last week, Starmer accused the government of failing to do enough to stop crossings: “The home secretary repeatedly says in strong language what she is going to do about the immediate problem and delivers absolutely nothing,” he said.

But it isn’t Starmer’s opponents’ territory; it’s his own because he is as racist as Patel and Johnson.

Given his comments, he should not be allowed to claim any moral high ground if Tory government policy is indeed found to have contributed to this tragedy.

The solution is to open up legal routes into the UK and treat people using them as human beings who deserve to have their reasons for coming here judged fairly. It always was.

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Priti Patel’s planned immunity for officials who cause deaths of refugees is NAZISM

Nazi: Patel wants Border Force staff who cause the deaths of refugees to be immune from prosecution. What’s the defence – that they’re “just following orders”? That was what the Nazis said too.

Somebody has already called it fascism, but in fact this is Nazism:

According to The Guardian,

Border Force staff who enact Priti Patel’s plans to “push back” migrant boats in the Channel could be given immunity from conviction if a refugee dies, officials have confirmed.

The home secretary is seeking to introduce a provision in the nationality and borders bill that could give officials legal protections in the event that someone drowns.

Whether the provision, tucked away in an obscure corner of the bill, would actually protect officers from conviction under international maritime laws could be tested in the courts.

Presumably their defence will be “I was just following orders”.

Wait – where have we heard that before?

Ah yes: Nuremberg. It was the defence put forward by German soldiers responsible for Nazi atrocities like the Holocaust.

And we know it:

Still, there is a precedent. After all, government employees have been immune from prosecution over the deaths of sick and disabled people for years.

Apparently people are being discouraged from pointing out the obvious far-right, Nazi parallels – so kudos to this Twitter user who accurately labels Home Secretary Priti Patel, the fiend responsible for this move:

If this legislation is enacted and people die, she should be dragged out for trial in The Hague – and I, for one, would be quite happy to see her sentenced to execution.

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Priti Patel’s borders bill is an attack on national and international law

“Turn back the boats,” said Patel. She didn’t tell the Tory faithful that she was lying to them about how it would be done.

She doesn’t stop, does she?

And it should be no surprise that Priti Patel is misleading Parliament over her new Borders Bill.

Its stated intention, according to her, is to make the asylum system fairer, deter illegal entry to the UK, and remove people with no right to be in the country.

However, legal advice commissioned by the human rights group Freedom from Torture takes a different view:

The report states:

“This bill represents the biggest legal assault on international refugee law ever seen in the UK.

“The principle at the heart of the bill is the penalisation, both criminally and administratively, of those who arrive by irregular means in the UK to claim asylum and the bill seeks to reverse a number of important decisions of the UK courts, including at the House of Lords and court of appeal level, given over the last 20 years.”

Anyone arriving in the UK by an illegal route, such as by a small boat across the Channel, could have their claim ruled as inadmissible, receive a jail sentence of up to four years, have no recourse to public funds, and could have their family members barred from joining them.

The inadmissibility regime outlined in the bill is potentially in breach of articles 31 and 33 of the UN refugee convention as well as articles 2, 3 and 4 of the European convention on human rights (ECHR).

The two-tier asylum system that the government plans to introduce means that those arriving by “irregular means” such as boats will be granted fewer rights, the barristers said, which would be inconsistent with the refugee convention and the ECHR.

“The basis for the attack on irregular arrival is that refugees should use safe legal routes. But there are no such safe legal routes. There is no such thing as a refugee visa,” they said.

Plans to send those claiming asylum to offshore centre would breach three articles of the ECHR, three of the articles of the refugee convention, the report said, while plans to “fast-track” cases with an expedited, accelerated appeals process would risk unfairness under common law as well as articles 2, 3, 4, 8 and 13 of the EHCR.

The Home Office has rejected the criticism. It would.

So the Bill seeks to overturn UK case law, the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Refugee Convention – and states that people should use safe legal routes that Patel knows perfectly well do not exist, so she’s a double liar to Parliament.

And for once, somebody else has said it. How refreshing to be merely reporting someone else picking holes in Tory lies for a change!

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Will Priti Patel’s new immigration Bill put her in conflict with the Queen?

The Queen: she has given the RNLI a Royal Charter to rescue anybody at all whose life is in danger on the sea near the UK. If Priti Patel wants to criminalise this activity, it seems likely that she will come to grief.

It’s a thought that would make a normal UK minister pause – but Priti Patel is not normal, and I mean that in the most unkind way possible, so This Writer is keen to see how events unfold.

Patel’s draft Nationality and Borders Bill, clause 38, potentially criminalises rescuers of asylum seekers if they are deemed to be “facilitating” their arrival in the UK.

Clause 38 amends the 1971 Immigration Act offence of assisting an asylum seeker, increasing the maximum sentence to life imprisonment, from 14 years, and removing the words “for gain”, which previously limited prosecutions to paid people smugglers.

This is potentially very bad news for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which has vowed to continue rescuing anybody its crews find to be in danger at sea off the UK’s coast – no matter what their legal status may be.

This is in line with International Maritime Law and with the United Nations’ Safety Of Life At Sea (Solas) convention.

Crews could face imprisonment for life, according to the legislation.

The Home Office has said the Bill is intended to target “ruthless people smugglers” and organisations like the RNLI – and individuals – would be allowed to continue humanitarian rescue work.

But if that is the case, why amend the law to criminalise all rescues rather than merely those carried out “for gain”?

So, as George Peretz QC states, “Mere assertion doesn’t cut it.”

Here’s where it gets really interesting, though: The RNLI is mandated to carry out its rescues by a Royal Charter issued by its patron – The Queen.

That’s why it has the word “Royal” in its title.

The charter means the RNLI is permitted to rescue anybody whose life is in danger on the sea off the UK’s coast – by order of the Queen.

Does legislation by the Commons have authority to override that?

I don’t know. I think Patel needs to re-write her bad law to avoid finding out.

I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes if she tried to force the issue.

Source: RNLI vows to continue sea rescues despite prison fears for picking up migrants | Financial Times

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Brexit: now we’re all waiting for Michael Gove to resign. Here’s the reason

Gove: this image was made for a completely different story but… oh, it fits this one so well, don’t you think?

Will he or won’t he?

Once upon a time, after the Johnson government reneged on the Withdrawal Agreement by launching a new Bill that promised to break international law by changing border rules for Northern Ireland that had been agreed with the EU, Michael Gove said a very silly thing.

You can see it in this clip, around 19 seconds in:

Last night it seemed his job was safe, when 357 Tory MPs reinstated those clauses in the Internal Market Bill after the Lords had removed them.

Today? Not so much… Gove himself cut them right back out again, in a desperate bid to appease EU officials who won’t sign a trade deal otherwise.

This is a major defeat for the Conservatives and for Gove in particular.  They all swore that they would never let the EU dictate the UK’s internal borders and they have all buckled under and done as they were told, like a flock of expensive-suited sheep.

And it seems everybody is asking the same question:

He’s really upset the Brexiters…

I mean, really

So it might be just as well for him to take a back seat for a while.

Well – we’re waiting.

And I’ve seen no announcement from Mr Gove – yet.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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