The Somerset Guardian, 6th July 2022

This week, the Home Secretary wrote to all Members of Parliament with a comprehensive overview of the Nationality and Borders Act.
This landmark legislation will build a new asylum system that is fair but firm; deterring illegal entry into the United Kingdom (UK), preventing people-smuggling networks and precipitating the removal of those who have no right to be here.

Since 28th June 2022, a number of the new powers in the Act have been brought into effect. Penalties have increased for those attempting to arrive in the UK illegally and a maximum of life imprisonment will be awarded to people traffickers, including pilots of small boats and others who put lives at risk. In addition, the Government has extended the highest penalty for Foreign National Offenders who return to the UK in breach of a deportation order.

In her letter, Priti Patel outlined the new suite of asylum reforms with the central principle being that those seeking asylum should claim it in the first safe country that they reach. Moreover, those who did not come to the UK directly, did not claim without delay or did not show good cause for their illegal entry or presence may be given a different set of entitlements than those who have complied with these requirements.

There will also be an ability to impose visa penalties, which means slowing or stopping services where countries pose a risk to international peace and security and those that refuse to take back their own citizens who should not be in the UK. Nationality changes will create fairer access to British nationality and finally, the Early Removal Scheme (ERS) for Foreign National Offenders will ensure that these people are removed sooner than before thus enhancing public protection.

Together, the reforms sit alongside our world-leading migration and economic partnership with Rwanda, a pioneering step to make the system fairer, safer and more efficient for both UK citizens and those coming to live here.

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