UK Parliament to enter summer recess

The UK’s Parliament will enter its summer recess today. This spring, the socially distanced chamber discussed various bills expanding police

Sergey PonomarevThe New York Times

Photo: Sergey Ponomarev/The New York Times

The UK’s Parliament will enter its summer recess today.

This spring, the socially distanced chamber discussed various bills expanding police powers, raising decarbonization targets and improving building codes. However, of particular importance is Home Secretary Priti Patel’s Nationality and Borders Bill, which aims to overhaul the asylum system by authorizing the deportation of asylum seekers who have already passed through safe countries before arriving in the UK. The new two-tiered system would, according to its proponents, deter dangerous migrant channel crossings and unclog asylum courts for refugees rather than “economic migrants.” The opposition Labour Party argues that the bill violates the UN’s 1951 Refugee Convention by discriminating against asylum seekers based on their mode of arrival.

Members of Parliament are scheduled to return to Westminster on September 6th for the autumn sitting. The Borders Bill, after passing its second reading in the House of Commons on July 20th by a wide majority, will proceed to the committee stage. With the large conservative majority, the bill is likely to move on to the House of Lords, which may delay it. Nevertheless, if passed the bill could still be vulnerable to legal challenges and the EU’s unwillingness to accept deported migrants.

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