The government’s rhetoric on immigration is no better than that of the far right, a Labor MP warned.
Speaking in the Commons on Tuesday, former shadow chancellor John McDonnell compared the language of ministers to that of the far-right English Defense League.
It came as the government faced criticism of a proposed policy that would see refugees denied asylum if they entered the UK illegally through a ‘safe’ country.
Attacking speeches by Conservative MPs during the House of Commons policy debate, McDonnell said, “I hope everyone watching who has actually participated in this debate will wake up deep in some speeches in recent days.
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“Yes, some are inspiring, but some, I have to say, wouldn’t hurt an English Defense League meeting.”
During the debate, Tory MP Christian Wakeford claimed that asylum seekers traveling to several safe countries before reaching the UK had a “shopping cart to know what they wanted”.
He told the Commons: “These asylum seekers don’t just travel through a safe country, they very often travel through many safe countries – basically having a shopping cart for what they want, economic migration.
“So the best way to solve this problem is to fix the problem and have a meaningful policy, that’s what it is for. “
Conservative Damian Collins said the UK should make it clear that illegal entry was not a “shortcut to residence in this country”.
He said: “We need to make it clear to human traffickers who prey on vulnerable people for profit that they will face severe penalties for smuggling people into this country.
“We need to shut down these illegal crossings which are incredibly dangerous, benefit criminal gangs and rightly affect the people who live on the Kent Coast… and give people safe routes to this country and safe ways to ask for it. ‘asylum.”
During the debate, Tory MP Shaun Bailey defended his constituents in West Bromwich West for worrying about migrants crossing the Channel in small boats, saying they were not racist to do so.
He told MPs that people in areas in his constituency, such as Princes End in Tipton, feel like Parliament is “talking” to them, not them.
He said: “There are people over there in Princes End who think quite frankly, and listening to today’s debate, that this House is just talking to them and they think this place is thinking – and this are the people who raise these concerns. on small boats with me – that they are racists, that they are fanatics.
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“No they’re not. They’re just concerned about the country they’re in. They’re mad at what they see.
“It is absolutely wrong that they are being scoffed at like that, because their opinion matters as much as anyone else, and it is the frustration that shows in my mailbox.
“It makes me so angry, especially with the Labor Party which has claimed to represent this community for 50 years, that they sit here now and get them dirty.”
However, the Tories have faced fierce opposition from other opposition parties, with Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron calling the argument that Britain’s immigration system is overwhelmed by asylum seekers as ” false nonsense ”.
“The idea that we are inundated with asylum seekers is false nonsense, it is not true and yet it is the premise on which much of this bill is written,” he said. -he declares.
“Now there is a problem with the asylum system and it is that there is a colossal backlog.”
Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party has accused the government of a ‘dog whistle’ policy in its Nationality and Borders Bill.
Glasgow South West MP Chris Stephens told the Commons: “I’m afraid this bill exposes the Conservative Party in all its forms because this bill is the dog-whistle policy. “
McDonnell had previously called on MPs to understand why it is “mostly young men” who came to the UK as migrants.
He said: “It is because families are reuniting and they are desperate. They have tried different routes to get out of the terrible situation they find themselves in and they realize that there is only one way out and that is the illegal route for most of them. ‘between them.
“And they will team up and what will the parents do?” They will choose their child to go to safety so that there is a future for them. And generally, yes, he’s a young man, but often young women too.
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