There’s No Turning Back

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9 September 2021: Solidarity in action – is the solution to dissolve the racist xenophobia[1] underpinning all, including the latest, refugee-rejection manoeuvre by the UK Government[2]: this time declaring that they will command workers to turn back boats carrying refugee people; it’s always, and only, about dividing – and thereby ruling – everyone on this side of the English Channel. 

Claudia Webbe MP, at the forefront of Early Day Motions[3] that call for Status Now 4 All describes this latest move as “Abhorrent”, going on to explain:

“This is yet another example of the Conservatives putting their political agenda – of the ‘hostile environment’ and stoking up division – ahead of human life and decency.

People have been moved by the images of refugees seeking to leave Afghanistan – if we do not open safe and legal routes for those fleeing persecution more and more will put their lives at risk by sea, land or air – it is time we started to truly welcome refugees here. International law is clear: those at risk at sea must be rescued.  The Home Secretary’s plan to turn boats back is immoral, dangerous and illegal.”[4] 

This sentiment is echoed by the Immigration Services Union (ISU) who have immediately rejected the government proposal[5], which Free Movement has quickly specified would:

‘replace binding international legal obligations with a small, bespoke, national scheme that gives preference to refugees from one country over others and where selection is based on connection to the host country rather than vulnerability. Like the international aid target, it could be scrapped on a whim.’[6]

In further immediate response to today’s news, one of our signatories[7], Migration UK[8], offers a clear description of what is happening in a number of countries around the world:

“In most of these countries there is no asylum processing, people are left in camps for life. Some have married locals and have children. Some are entrepreneurs contributing to the economy. Then when governments change, permissions are cancelled and people are told to go back to camps in the middle of nowhere.  There, they build their own makeshift houses, not having home to return to, becoming separated from their families and their livelihoods again while the administration insist they go back to the countries they came from and even keep money intended for helping the refugees in their countries. 

and asks a simple, penetrating question:

“So, when people are placed in camps, why do the international agencies not follow up on the initial refugee agreements reached with countries?“

None of this is being conducted in our name and only collective, international action will stop it. #StatusNow4All #HealthandSafety4all


[1] XENOPHOBIA | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

[2] Channel crossings: Migrant boats could be turned back in new UK move – BBC News

[3] You searched for EDM 7 – Status Now 4 All

[4] Claudia Webbe MP on Twitter: “Abhorrent • International Law is clear: those at risk at sea must be rescued • Priti Patel’s plan to turn boats back is immoral, dangerous & illegal” / Twitter

[5] Patel’s plans to send migrant boats back to France ‘dead in water’, union says | Immigration and asylum | The Guardian

[6] Even as Afghans are resettled, refugee protection is under attack – Free Movement

[7] Signatory Organisations to the Status Now Campaign – Status Now 4 All

[8] MigrationUK – Advocacy Service