27 June 2023

British Red Cross response to the UK government's economic impact assessment of the Illegal Migration Bill

Responding to the publication of the government’s economic impact assessment of the Illegal Migration Bill, the British Red Cross’s Executive Director of Strategy and Communications, Christina Marriott, said:

“This legislation should play no part in our asylum system, which is meant to offer safety to men, women and children fleeing war and persecution. These figures show it may also add a huge burden to the taxpayer at a time when families across the UK are already being squeezed by the cost of living.

“There’s no evidence that it will deter people seeking safety in the UK. The only thing we can be certain of is that it will be expensive and cause immense distress to people who have already experienced the trauma of fleeing their homes. We’re already seeing this impact on the people we support.

“The Rwanda policy will undermine the UK’s proud history of offering safety to those who need it. The government should instead invest in an efficient asylum system.

"It should start by tackling the vast backlog, with more than 172,000 people still waiting for their claim to be processed, and it must create more safe routes so people are not forced to make desperate journeys.”