MP COLUMN: Biggest overhaul of UK's asylum system
Last week the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, announced the biggest overhaul of the UK’s asylum system in decades when she launched our New Plan for Immigration.
This plan will mark a step change, setting out how the Government will tackle illegal immigration now that we have taken back control of our borders, ended free movement and introduced a new points-based immigration system.
At the heart of our New Plan for Immigration is the principle of fairness.
Access to the UK’s asylum system will be based on genuine need of refuge, not on the ability to pay people smugglers.
The current system is collapsing under the pressures of what are in effect illegal routes to asylum, facilitated by criminals smuggling people into the UK and often resulting in the loss of life.
For the first time, whether people enter the UK legally or illegally will have an impact on how their asylum claim progresses, and on their status in the UK if that claim is successful.
The Government will make every effort to remove those who enter the UK illegally having travelled through a safe country in which they could and should have claimed asylum.
Only where this is not possible, those who have successful claims having entered illegally will receive a new temporary protection status rather than an automatic right to settle and will be regularly reassessed for removal from the UK.
People entering illegally will also have limited family reunion rights and limited access to benefits.
Ian Levy, Blyth Valley MP