December 08, 2021

Home Secretary: Backing the Bill on illegal immigration

Today Home Secretary Priti Patel delivered her speech to the House backing the Bill on illegal immigration and people-trafficking.

Here is what she said:

Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be read a third time.  
This Bill introduces the most significant overhaul of our asylum system in over two decades - a new, comprehensive, fair but firm long-term plan, which addresses the challenge of illegal migration head-on. 
Illegal immigration is facilitated by serious organised criminals exploiting people and profiting from human misery. And it has cost people their lives.
The way to stop these deaths is to stop the wicked trade in human beings. 




This Conservative government is the only government in the history of British politics with the vision to deliver a balanced Bill that will be fair to everyone who enters the United Kingdom legally and on merit. 
If someone enters the UK illegally from a safe country such as France, where they should and could have claimed asylum…
…they are choosing the UK as their preferred destination at the expense of those with nowhere else to go.
We are acting to reduce the pull factors of our system and disincentivise illegal entry.
For the first time, whether people enter the UK legally or illegally will have an impact on how their asylum claim progresses and on their status in the UK if that claim is successful. 
Our tough new stance will also include: new maximum life sentences for people smugglers and facilitators; new rules to stop unscrupulous people posing as children; and stronger enforcement powers for Border Force.
We will seek to rapidly remove those with no right to be here in the UK, establishing a fast-track appeals process, streamlining the appeals system, and making quicker removal decisions for failed asylum seekers and dangerous foreign criminals. 
The Bill will also protect victims of modern slavery, while making it harder for people to cheat the system - so we can focus all our efforts and resources on the genuine victims of this vile crime.
Anyone who does not support this Bill is out of touch with reality…
…out of touch with the national interest…
and out of touch with what the British people want.
Mr Speaker, Labour are all over the place on these issues.
The Leader of the Opposition has described all immigration law as racist.
I welcome the new Shadow Home Secretary to her place. Several years ago, when she last held that role, she said:


“We must control immigration to ensure the impact is fair and the system has the consent from the British people. We must be tough with those who want to exploit immigrants. We must offer safety to our fair share of genuine refugees.”


That is what this Bill does. She has lost the courage of her old convictions.
Labour had the chance to make these changes when they were in power. And they did not act.
They could have supported this Bill.
But instead they chose to play party politics and at every stage have voted against it. 
Mr Speaker, this is a major moment in British politics. 
This government is taking responsibility…
…by making the tough decisions ignored for decades to deliver for the British public and take back control.
I commend this Bill to the House.