Conservative home secretary, Suella Braverman. (Picture: UK Home Office)

Rishi Sunak’s vile Tories are introducing new legislation that will bar refugees crossing the Channel from claiming asylum in Britain. Any who arrive in Britain ­without official documentation could be deported and blocked from re-entry. 

The only way to enter Britain though “legal” means is via schemes only available for Ukrainians, Afghans and people from Hong Kong. The 2021 Nationality and Borders Act made it illegal to enter Britain without a visa. As a result refugees who have entered Britain have been locked up and criminalised. Now the Tories want to take that further.

New legislation announced by home secretary Suella Braverman this week plans to detain and deport any who travel to Britain “illegally”. And it will include a “brake” on human rights legislation to stop legal challenges.

The mainstream criticism of the ­legislation is it’s “unworkable and costly”. Currently the Rwanda deportation plan is being challenged in the courts by the PCS union and Care4Calais.

But the biggest problem with the Tories’ plan is its inhumanity. It would make all asylum claims from those who cross the Channel inadmissible and refugees removed “as soon as reasonably practical” to a third country.

Those who claim asylum, including children ­travelling alone or with families, will be kept in detention facilities for up to 28 days. And they could face a ban on ever ­returning to Britain, claiming asylum or British citizenship.  

This racist drive gives confidence to the fascist and racist thugs ­protesting against refugees. And when Tories, including deputy chairman Lee Anderson, say they have sympathy with these “normal family people”, anti-racist forces have to react.

Now anti-racists across Britain are building for Stand Up To Racism’s day of action to mark United Nations anti-racism day on 18 March. National mobilisations will take place in London, Glasgow and Cardiff.

South London activist Chris says a day of action on Thursday has been called to build for the demonstrations. And SUTR branches are holding meetings with Barbadian ­reparations activist David Denny.

“Racism has played out in our local areas in the last few months,” Chris explained. “The death of Chris Kaba last year angered many, and there’s a desire to see justice for his family.

“We also had a fantastic ­mobilisation in Lewisham against the far right Turning Point’s attempts to initiate a Drag Queen Storytelling event—followed by another this Friday in east Dulwich. These local events have ­crystallised opposition, and on 18 March we can join up with those fighting back across the country.”

Chioma is a student SUTR ­activist in Surrey. “It’s important that students are part of the day,” she told Socialist Worker. Her group is ­postering, ­leafleting and holding organising meetings to build for the march.

“Students have helped shape ­movements from Black Lives Matter to the climate protests. It’s important for us to go out and resist racism—we can’t let it be brought onto our campuses.”

As the Tories ramp up ­hostility to refugees and embolden fascist and racist forces, it’s crucial as many anti‑racists as possible are on the streets to hit back on 18 March.

For information about SUTR’s March against racism on 18 March go to ­

‘Solidarity not scapegoating’

Union leaders have accused the Tories of being “complicit” in the fascist and racist attacks outside refugee hotels.

A joint statement signed by 14 unions said MPs are pushing “anti-migrant politics of attempting to divide working class people against each other.” It came after leading Tories defended anti-refugee protests in Liverpool, Skegness, and Dover, among others. The statement organised by the Fire Brigades Union said, “The answer is solidarity, not scapegoating.”

The statement adds that in the last decade people “suffered a crisis of living standards, with wages falling and public services left to rot”. The people to blame for this are politicians, billionaires and big corporations, not migrant workers or refugees,” it says. Leaders of the FBU, Unison, NEU, Aslef, Bfawu, GMB, RMT, UCU and NUJ unions are among those who signed the statement.

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