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THE Tories’ proposals for a new immigration system were slammed by MPs of all parties in the Commons today as “unjust, discriminatory and poorly designed.”
The EU Withdrawal Bill, which formally ends Britain’s commitment to freedom of movement with the EU, was due to reach its final stages in the Commons today.
MPs rushed to introduce a series of amendments, including clauses to prevent “hostile environment” policies being extended to EU citizens, a time limit on detention and scrapping other barriers that migrants face to healthcare and the welfare state.
Tory MP David Davis, who tabled the amendment on detention limits, said that indefinite detention “flies in the face of centuries of British justice.”
He said that many detainees were victims of torture, rape and abuse. “And what do we do when they come here for our help? We lock them up for an indefinite period.”
Ahead of the debate, Labour MP and prominent migrant rights campaigner Bell Ribeiro-Addy told the Morning Star: “It’s outrageous that just a week after Windrush day, when the government promised institutional change, they’re bringing forward a Bill that paves the way for the expansion of hostile environment policies to encompass EU citizens.”
Ms Ribeiro-Addy said that the Bill as it stood wasn’t just “inhumane” but also “makes little economic sense,” as proposals to introduce minimum salary thresholds would bar much-needed workers to Britain.
In the Commons, she accused Home Secretary Priti Patel of hypocrisy for pledging to adopt all of the recommendations in the Windrush Lessons Learnt review while at the same time keeping many of the “hostile environment” policies that led to the scandal.
Labour MP Nadia Whittome was jeered by Tory MPs when she brought up the hostile environment. “Not satisfied with the disaster of the Windrush scandal, the government seems determined to press ahead with this unjust discriminatory and poorly designed piece of legislation,” she charged.
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