The Bill was published on 7 March 2023 and the long title includes the making of new laws

  • in connection with removal of people that have arrived in the UK in breach of immigration controls and
  • about the proposed very large scale detention of people arriving in the UK for immigration purposes as well as
  • to make rules about the maximum number of people who can enter the UK annually using ‘safe and legal routes’.

Central to the proposed legislation is the focus upon:

  1. Substantially reducing the numbers of people able to submit an application for asylum where they have not travelled directly from a country of danger or harm
  2. Preventing an individual to whom these new laws apply from ever being granted leave or obtaining settlement or citizenship unless that is required by the U.K.’s obligations under the human rights convention or another international agreement
  3. Denying people the opportunity to challenge their detention pending removal and denying people the right to appeal a decision prior to removal unless either the Secretary of State has not certified the claim, or where the Upper Tribunal has accepted on the basis of the evidence provided that permission to appeal should be allowed

Identifying a potential mechanism to permit the UK government to ignore rule 39 indications given by the European Court of Human Rights  (Rule 39 indications are given in rare and exceptional cases e.g. the recent Rwanda cases – to prevent governments removing people temporarily whilst further legal action is pursued)

In practice, if the law is passed then it will become far harder for anyone to claim asylum in the UK if they arrived here after passing through other countries which the government considers to be safe.

Although there are limited exceptions e.g. for those who are children on their own or for people who are identified as victims of modern slavery, the Illegal Migration bill, if enacted, will remove rights of appeal, and rights to challenge detention for a significant number of people and in our view is likely to cause immense harm to a large number of the most vulnerable people in our country.

Anyone who arrived on or after 7 March 2023 not directly from their country of origin could be affected.

If you are seeking expert legal advice on the asylum process, please contact a member of the team.