What is the Nationality and Borders Bill?
In 2021, the UK Government introduced the Nationality and Borders Bill to parliament. If realised, this new law will make it harder for people fleeing conflict or persecution to seek sanctuary in the UK and instead penalise them for it.
At the heart of the Bill is a discriminatory two-tiered approach to asylum, differentiating between those who arrive through legal pathways, such as resettlement or family reunion visas, on the one hand, and those who arrive irregularly on the other hand. For the latter, access to asylum and protection in the UK would become infinitely more challenging.
Faith leaders have expressed their concerns on this Bill and described it as lacking humanity and respect for human dignity. Many of the measures risk creating more injustices in the system which will increase the trauma and pain experienced by asylum seekers attempting to reach safety in the UK. It is at odds with the common societal perception that the UK has a long and proud history of supporting people fleeing violence.
We are inviting faith communities, faith leaders and individuals to campaign for changes to the Nationality and Borders Bill.
What difference can I make?
Engage your MP
During the passage of the bill through parliament, every MP will have a chance to contribute amendments, share their view on the legislation and vote on the bill.
It is important that every MP hears from their constituents about the bill, particularly the areas which need to be changed. This engagement is always more powerful when it is personal. Telling your MP why you disagree with the bill and what you think a welcoming society should look like can make a significant impact.
The Joint Public Issues Team has created an excellent set of resources that enable you to speak out effectively on the issues that matter.
Check out their website for the full set of resources including:
Join the Together With Refugees Coalition
‘Together with Refugees’ is a new coalition of more than 300 organisations, which is calling for a more humane approach to people seeking protection in the UK. Whether you are a faith community, business or charity you can join and be part of a UK-wide movement advocating for change. Find out more and how you can get involved here.
Some of the national communities of faith and FBOs that have joined include:
- Christian Aid
- Jewish Council for Racial Equality
- Jesuit Refugee Service
- René Cassin
- The Baptist Union of Great Britain
- The Churches Refugee Network
- The Church of Scotland
- The Methodist Church
- The Muslim Council of Britain
- The United Reformed Church
- Quakers in Britain
Show Your Heart
Become involved in wider campaigning activity Show Your Heart for refugees and asylum seekers. The Joint Public Issues Team’s new campaign pack will help you Prepare, Pray, Participate and Persuade around the Bill.
This pack is designed to help you start to think about the Nationality and Borders Bill and how Christians can respond to it. It is full of links to our updates and informative material, so you can stay on top of the latest developments to the Nationality and Borders Bill in more detail.
A very practical thing to do is display an orange heart as the symbol of the Together With Refugees campaign, declaring that we stand together with those seeking sanctuary in the UK.
More ideas and examples and a step-by-step guide can be found in the campaign pack.