04 October 2020

British Red Cross CEO responds to asylum reform proposals from Home Secretary in party conference speech

At the Conservative Party Conference, 4 October 2020, the Home Secretary spoke about proposals for asylum reforms, reflecting that the asylum system is currently 'broken'. Head here for BBC commentary on Priti Patel's speech

Mike Adamson, CEO at British Red Cross, responds below: 

"Like the Home Secretary, we want to see a more compassionate asylum system. Huge backlogs in the processing of asylum claims mean many people are left in limbo, unable to work and living in destitution, for months, if not years.   

“But this compassion needs to be applied to anyone arriving in the UK in search of safety.  We should not judge how worthy someone is of asylum by how they arrived here, especially when the rules are so narrow. 

“The people we speak to tell us they had no other choice but to come to the UK in small boats or lorries across the Channel, because there were no other options for them. Many have gone on to claim asylum and now live here, work here, pay taxes here.   

“We have long been calling for more safe routes to be introduced so that people are not forced to risk their lives to get to Britain. The time to move on that is now, with much at risk under current negotiations to leave the EU, including the rights of families to reunite.”  

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