NEARLY 70 Scottish MPs and MSPs have signed an open letter rejecting the UK Government’s “inhumane and cruel” Illegal Migration Bill.

The letter to Home Secretary Suella Braverman sets out a “deeply held opposition” to the legislation which passed its second reading earlier this month.

The bill, if enacted, will mean anyone who arrives on a small boat or in the back of a lorry will have their asylum claim deemed “inadmissible”. The Home Office will not even consider someone’s claim if they are from a war-torn country or if they face persecution, such as women from Iran.

These people will be detained for 28 days and then removed either to their own country or a “safe third country”, such as Rwanda. They will also be blocked from returning.

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The National:

A total of 68 MPs and MSPs have signed the letter which says there is no evidence to suggest that this Bill will have any impact on the number of dangerous crossings”.

Alison Thewliss, who signed the letter, said the legislation will do nothing but inflict “pain and misery” to those fleeing conflict or persecution.

She said: “The UK Government's approach to asylum seekers has been inhumane and cruel for decades, but this latest piece of legislation really does take things to a whole new level.

“Suella Braverman is taking the extraordinary step of ignoring her obligations under the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as ripping the Modern Slavery Act protections for victims of trafficking. Some survivors of trafficking have called this bill a ‘gift to traffickers’.

“Scotland's MPs and MSPs have made their voices clear in their support for this letter. This legislation will not pass in our name.

“The bill will inflict nothing but pain and misery to those fleeing war-torn countries or places where they face persecution.

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“Scotland’s refugee and asylum-seeking community deserves better. The Home Office have shown time and time again that they cannot be trusted when it comes to looking after vulnerable children and adults. 

“I have been a long-term supporter of independence for Scotland - but harmful legislation such as this makes it urgent.”

The letter adds: “It is extremely worrying to see the UK Government press ahead with policies which pose a serious and consistent threat to our international human rights obligations.

“It is worse still when these policies show no promise of delivering their intended consequences. This bill will not make people safe – it will put victims of trafficking and modern slavery even more at risk, and leave refugees fleeing persecution in limbo, or offshored thousands of miles away.

“We urge all Scottish parliamentarians to take a principled stand against this pernicious legislation.”

Braverman said the legislation is needed as people arriving in the UK after crossing the Channel have "overwhelmed our asylum system". She added there has been "too much" immigration in recent years.

Braverman also said she has been subject to the "most grotesque slurs" for saying "simple truths" about the impact of migration on the country.