Home Secretary Suella Braverman arrives at Downing StreetInternationalIndiaAfricaJames TweediePrime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government has insisted that it can tackle the people-trafficking crisis where its Tory its Tory predecessors have failed — and that they have the backing of the “law-abiding patriotic majority”.Britain’s home secretary has vowed to push ahead with a crackdown on illegal immigration despite protests by the UN — and insults from football pundit Gary Lineker.Vicky Tennant, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the UK, said the agency was “very concerned” at the legislation announced by Suella Braverman in the House of Commons on Tuesday.The law would mean migrants arriving illegally — including on dangerously-overloaded people traffickers’ boats across the English channel — could be deported to their homeland or a third country.Such deportees would have no right to claim political asylum or appeal under human rights legislation dating from the UK’s membership of the European Union (EU), and would be banned from entering the UK again or applying for citizenship. “This is effectively closing off access to asylum in the UK for people arriving irregularly,” Tennant said in a TV news interview on Tuesday night. “We believe it’s a clear breach of the Refugee Convention, and remember even people with very compelling claims will simply not have the opportunity to put these forward.”Her comments were a clear rejection of Braverman’s assertion that the legislation would not breach the UK’s commitments under existing international treaties.”We very strongly view our proposals as lawful,” Braverman responded in a radio interview, stressing that the “simple truth is that we cannot accept everybody who wants to come.”She also predicted the draft legislation would help the government get a grip on illegal immigration, which saw more than 45,000 arrivals on small boats in 2022 alone.”We will see, based on other countries’ experiences, that once we’re able to relocate people who’ve come here illegally from the United Kingdom to another safe country, like Rwanda, or back to their own home country, then, actually, the numbers of people making the journey in the first place will fall dramatically,’ the home secretary said.
Appealing for a Penalty
Several high-profile MPs from the ruling Conservative Party demanded the BBC discipline its top-paid football pundit and former England international Gary Lineker after he compared the government’s small boats policy to anti-Semitic laws in Nazi-era Germany.Lineker called the proposed legislation “beyond awful” on Tuesday in a post on his Twitter account — ironically decorated in support of the far-right Ukrainian regime — in his latest breach of the state broadcaster’s rules on political impartiality.”This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s,” he wrote, asking if “I’m out of order?”The home secretary responded in a TV interview on Wednesday morning, saying the commentator’s comments were “disappointing.””I think it’s unhelpful to compare our measures, which are lawful, proportionate and — indeed — compassionate, to 1930s Germany,” Braverman insisted.When asked if Lineker — whose £1.35 million annual salary is funded with license-payers’ money — should resign or face the sack, she said “That’s a matter for the BBC and they will resolve that.” But Braverman invited Lineker to visit the Channel ports to “see what the communities in Kent and Dover and actually all around the UK are feeling about this issue.”Earlier on Wednesday, the BBC said Lineker would be “spoken to” and “reminded of his responsibilities.”World’Enough is Enough’: Braverman Launches Illegal Migration Bill With Blast at Labour7 March, 13:37 GMTFormer Immigration minister Robert Jenrick, whose Israeli-born wife is then daughter of Holocaust survivors, said such language “should not be thrown around lightly,” especially when Gary Lineker is paid for by the British taxpayer.” Jenrick added that it was “disappointing that he is so far out of step with the British public.””Lineker’s ignorant ‘Nazi’ comments have not only upset MPs — many in the Jewish community think it’s crass while other broadcasters ask, ‘Why is Lineker allowed to get away with it?’ I do too,” said backbencher Michael Fabricant.”The BBC should disassociate themselves from these types of comments and ask themselves the question: ‘Is this the type of comment they expect from their publicly funded presenters?’,” said Newly-appointed Conservative Party deputy chairman Lee Anderson. “Instead of lecturing, Mr Lineker should stick to reading out the football scores and flogging crisps,” he jibed in reference to Lineker’s advertising work for Walker’s snacks. “This is just another example of how out of touch these overpaid stars are with the voting public.”