On 18 March 2021, the government outlined its proposals for new legislation: ‘the new plan for immigration’. In fact, the plan is almost entirely about asylum, rather than broader immigration.
In a culmination of the government’s self-declared hostile attitude to refugees, the proposals represent the biggest shock to our asylum system in history. Thousands of current and future refugees now depend on members of the public to speak out on their behalf.
On this page, you’ll find information to help you quickly understand and contextualise the government’s proposals, as well as the sector-wide response to those proposals. And here’s the important part: there’s also a link at the end to a page offering a choice of ways to speak out for those who cannot. But hurry! Time really is running out…
Understanding the proposals
You can read the proposals for the ‘new plan for immigration’ for yourself on the government website. However, it’s vital to bear in mind that the proposals have been very carefully crafted to sound positive, sensible and necessary. In fact, they are anything but (find out why by reading our rebuttal lower down this page).
The timeline: far too short
- 18 March – The government announced its proposals
- 24 March – Just a week later, the consultation and engagement process began.
- 6 May – The 6-week consultation process ends. 6 weeks is exactly HALF the time the government normally allows for consultation.
- Autumn 2021 – The bill is expected to be enacted into law as an act of parliament.
What are the problems with the Sovereign Borders Bill?
What's being proposed, and why it's wrong
Find out what are the most serious concerns and why we need your help to protest these proposals.
Slow read: Unpicking the issues
Only by understanding the real context – and reading carefully between the lines – can you discover just how disingenuous the proposals are. Here, we’ve taken the home secretary’s foreword to the proposals and rebutted or challenged each of her points in turn. Judge for yourself how reasonable the proposals seem now.
” ‘Fairness’ means… not using half-truths and twisted rhetoric to divide our society in the UK.” – Care4Calais
What's being said about the proposals?
NGOs/charities have challenged the proposals, including the UNHCR (their full response here), British Red Cross, Refugee Action, the Refugee Council, City of Sanctuary, and Asylum Matters, plus many MPs.
“Priti Patel’s statement on refugees was one of the vilest statements I’ve heard in Parliament.”
– Richard Burgon, MP (Lab, East Leeds), March 2021
"What is going on at the Home Office?"
Free Movement has written a guide for journalists, using facts to challenge many of the government’s reasons for claiming we need the Sovereign Borders Bill.
They say: “We’ve seen a constant drip of leaks about the UK’s ‘broken’ asylum system… A lot of this is cover for problems that the current management of the Home Office has caused.”
How can you object to the proposals?
There are several ways that you can object to the proposals. We outline some of them, and offer tips and tools to help you.
Please, please do take action: these proposals are terrible news for refugees, but they’re also bad news for Britain, especially in the context of our increasingly isolationist standpoint.