THE SNP have taken action to stop the Tories’ “hateful anti-refugee” bill in its tracks, which they argue is set to punish vulnerable people and those seeking asylum.

The SNP say the Nationality and Borders Bill, set to receive its second reading today, will strip many refugees of rights to settle permanently, family reunion and support, as well as criminalise many for seeking protection in the UK with sentences of up to four years. It could also see accommodation such as the Napier and Penally sites become the norm.

The SNP’s home affairs spokesperson Stuart McDonald has tabled an amendment that declines to give the bill a second reading.

The legislation has been widely criticised by MPs and refugee charities, including the Scottish Refugee Council, who stated that it “does not offer the humane system we need”, and charity Families Together, who said the “proposals pose a huge threat to refugee protection” across the UK.

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Speaking ahead of the debate today, McDonald said: “The Tory Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill is nothing more than a hateful anti-refugee bill that breaches the UK’s international obligations – it must be condemned in the strongest possible manner.

“If a Uighur fleeing torture, or Syrian fleeing war crimes, or Christian convert escaping death threats arrives in the UK seeking protection, but without a visa, they could be guilty of an offence punishable by up to four years in prison if this bill goes through.

“By sticking by this bill, Priti Patel is defending criminalising torture victims, victims of war crimes, persecuted Christian converts and other refugees for seeking our protection.

“MPs and charities alike have expressed serious concerns about the bill, but the Tories have ignored them and are ploughing ahead with it anyway.

“I have tabled an amendment that attempts to stop the bill in its tracks and my SNP colleagues and I will continue to work to stop this bill becoming law.

“But it is clear beyond any doubt that the only way to build a fairer and more equal society, with a migration system that has a core focus of fairness and humanity, is for Scotland to become an independent nation.”

The SNP reasoned amendment states: “That this House declines to give a second reading to the Nationality and Borders Bill as it would place the United Kingdom in breach of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, to which the United Kingdom is a party and would diminish the rights of many people seeking refuge in the UK, including Uighurs fleeing persecution, Syrians fleeing war crimes, converted Christians in fear of their life, even to the extent of criminalising them in certain circumstances with an offence punishable by up to four years in prison.”