Suella Braverman appeared to be toning down some measures designed to deter migrants arriving in Britain in small boats. Changes to the immigration Bill mean that Channel migrants could get access to legal aid to fund their human rights challenges against deportation.
In an apparent move aimed at pacifying some of the more liberal MPs on the Tory benches, the Home Secretary has set out amendments to the Bill clarifying that refugees making their way to the UK by sea can get legal aid if they say their lives are at risk at home or that they would be treated inhumanely or tortured there. Ministers will also look at creating more “safe and legal routes” into Britain.
However, the measures come with other, stronger, changes demanded by rebel Conservative backbenchers who want tougher action against Channel migrants.
READ MORE: Braverman won’t be given ‘carte blanche’ to ignore European court
One campaigner, as reported by the Mail, claimed the legal aid measures made little sense. Alp Mehmet, of Migration Watch UK, which wants tougher controls at the border, was quoted as saying that the legal aid measure made “little sense if the Home Secretary wants to reduce the spiralling cost of the asylum system and stem the flow of illegal boat crossings.” He urged her to “think again”.
On Friday Ms Braverman said she and the Prime Minister were “absolutely committed to stopping the boats once and for all”, adding that the changes she was announcing would “help secure our borders and make it easier for us to remove people by preventing them from making last minute bogus claims, while ensuring we strengthen our safe and legal routes.”
Last week, it was reported that opposition to the Bill from the House of Lords would probably centre on the plans to