Help us achieve kinder, fairer and more effective support for refugees by writing to your MP today.
Please copy and paste the text below into an email to your MP.
[Make sure to include your address and contact details. Your MP needs to know that you live in their constituency]
Dear [name of MP],
Re: Support Lords’ amendments 6 and 11 to the Nationality and Borders Bill
MPs will vote on Lords’ Amendments to the Nationality and Borders Bill tomorrow (Tuesday 22nd March). The rejection of key provisions by the House of Lords sends a powerful message that the bill urgently needs reforming. I’m writing to ask you to vote and speak out strongly in support of two vital changes to the bill:
- Amendment 6 which removes the principle of treating refugees differently based on how they arrive in the UK, rather than their need for protection.
- Amendment 11 introduces safe routes through a predictable and long-term global target to resettle 10,000 refugees per year.
The UNHCR reports that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is triggering the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War Two with over 3 million refugees fleeing the country. The government’s introduction of measures to support Ukrainian refugees to date are welcome, and build on our long and proud tradition of welcoming people fleeing violence and seeking to build a new life in the UK. For generations, ordinary Britons have stepped up to welcome strangers to their communities; we’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again.
However, at this time, Syrian refugees are still in need of safety, thousands of Afghan refugees remain trapped in temporary hotels, while Ukrainians fleeing war are hindered by bureaucracy. The Lords have raised serious concerns that the bill will erode refugee rights to protection that are enshrined in the UN Refugee Convention and the lack of urgently needed new, safe routes for refugees to get to the UK. While amendment 6 and 11 would help address these gaps, the Home Office is determined to press ahead with these measures unchanged.
How can you support us?
I am asking you to urgently consider several requests as our parliamentary representative.
- Would you press colleagues in your party to make sure Amendment 11 is pushed to a vote and commit to support it in the lobbies?
- Would you support Amendment 6 and 11 when the bill is debated in the Commons and be willing to draw on our briefing in your speech?
- Would you write to the Home Secretary to convey my concerns from a constituency perspective and to seek a response, updating me on any reply?
- Would you let me know your own views on the Bill and the issues I raise above – and reflect my deep concerns about the Bill by speaking out locally, in Parliament, within your party and on social media?
Background on amendment 6 and 11
I am a supporter of The Separated Child Foundation. Together with the 400+ members of the Together With Refugees coalition, we are campaigning for a better approach to supporting refugees that is more effective, fair and humane. I’m asking you to get behind this vision by voting in support of, and speaking out on:
- Amendment 6, which removes Clause 11 and the principle of treating refugees differently based on how they arrive here. Were Clause 11 implemented today, Ukrainian, Afghan and other refugees left with no other options but to take dangerous routes to reach the UK, would be denied fundamental rights such as access to public welfare and family reunion. As has been made clear by the legal opinion of the UNHCR, and numerous times by members of the House of Lords, Clause 11 is in direct breach of the UN Refugee Convention and should be removed from the bill.
- Amendment 11, which introduces a commitment to resettle 10,000 refugees per year. This Conservative-led amendment was tabled by former immigration minister Lord Kirkhope and includes numbers resettled through the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS). The UK’s piecemeal response to the Ukrainian crisis proves the need for more safe routes to the UK, while the visa-based options for Ukrainians are not accessible to other people fleeing conflict and persecution from elsewhere across the globe. This amendment will help to close this gap by putting in place a more sustainable, predictable and long-term framework to give local authorities the certainty they need to plan resettlement successfully. It also would enable the Home Office to respond more flexibly and swiftly to refugee crises from Syria, to Afghanistan and now Ukraine.
Many thanks for your time in considering our concerns.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Writing as a supporter of The Separated Child Foundation, as part of the Together With Refugees coalition.
Thank you for your support.
We are dependant on your generous donations of money and time to provide our services to the vulnerable and traumatised separated children who need our help.