MIL-OSI United Kingdom: Next government must end hostile environment against refugees

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Source: Scottish Greens

It’s time to abolish the Home Office.

It is time to end the racist hostile environment policies that have caused so much misery and build an open and inclusive system, say the Scottish Greens. 

Ahead of a visit to a Glasgow-based refugee charity, the Party’s Co-leader, Patrick Harvie, condemned 14 years of anti-refugee Tory policies that have punished vulnerable people and families and have seen thousands detained in awful prison-like conditions.

The party has called for the immediate repeal of the Rwanda bill and an end to the use of brutal detention centres and institutional accommodation such as barracks, hotels and barges.

Mr Harvie said: “The hostile environment is one of the most awful, shameful and racist legacies of this Tory government. They have thrived on spreading fear and division, and have treated people’s lives like political pawns in their culture war.

“From dawn raids to prison-like detention and deportation flights to Rwanda, they have chased right wing headlines rather than showing humanity.

“Our public services and local businesses all over Scotland are crying out for more workers, but that has been made much harder by a Tory government that has inflicted a disastrous Brexit and has shown total contempt for the rights of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“The Conservatives have made this so much worse, but the shameful truth is that it began under the last Labour government, and I don’t have any confidence that Keir Starmer’s party will make the break that is needed.

“Freedom, empathy, compassion and solidarity are at the heart of the system we want to see. Every vote for the Scottish Greens will be a strike against the politics of hate and in favour of dismantling a racist and reactionary Home Office that is not fit for purpose.”

The Scottish Greens’ manifesto will call for a fundamental shift in refugee and asylum policy to recognise and respect the right to claim asylum under international law, including:

  • Immediately repealing the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Act 2024, the Illegal Migration Act and the Nationality and Borders Act 2022. These must be replaced with legislation which protects the right to claim asylum and adheres to international law and the European Convention on Human Rights.

  • Ensuring asylum applications are processed in a fair and humane manner, whilst allowing people to remain in local communities in the UK throughout the processing period.

  • Banning the use of institutional accommodation – barracks, hotels, barges – and ensuring all people seeking asylum are housed in decent housing in communities. 

  • Closing all detention centres, replacing them with tried and tested community-based alternatives.

  • Actively working with global partners to provide safe routes to protection for refugees, including coming to the UK.

MIL OSI United Kingdom