Government plans for “second-class refugees” defeated

The Liberal Democrats have welcomed the defeat of a clause in the Government’s controversial Nationality and Borders Bill that would have created two classes of refugees.

The party’s Home Affairs Spokesperson in the Lords, Brian Paddick, co-sponsored an amendment to remove Clause 11 from the Bill.

The clause would have put refugees into “Group 2” if they come to the UK through other countries, giving them only a temporary right to stay in the UK and restricting their ability to sponsor close family members to join them.

The amendment, which had cross-party support, was voted through tonight in the House of Lords by 204 votes to 126.

Speaking after the vote, Lord Paddick said: “Priti Patel’s Anti-Refugee Bill would criminalise people simply for seeking asylum in the UK. That would include the Ukrainian families who are fleeing Putin’s war at this very moment.

“The horrifying images from Ukraine must surely force Ministers to think again. I am glad we have defeated the Government over its plans to create a second class of refugees, in violation of the UN Refugee Convention, but the Home Secretary should now withdraw the Bill altogether.

“The UK has a proud history of providing sanctuary to those fleeing war and persecution. Liberal Democrats will resist every attempt by the Conservative Government to undermine that proud British tradition.”

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