Liberal Democrat MP, Alastair Campbell, highlighting today his shock at the recent events said, "I am sure that like me, you are still shocked by the tragic events of this weekend, when six people died after a boat capsized in the Channel. It is a tragedy that never should have happened - and it has been fuelled by the politics of cynicism. The Conservative Government is demonising asylum seekers purely to distract from their own incompetence. Their political strategy is already having dangerous consequences for real people - whether it is the health crisis on board the Bibby Stockholm, or the tragic events in the Channel."
Alastair emphasised that the UK has a long and proud history of offering sanctuary to vulnerable people fleeing war and persecution. The Conservatives are attempting to drag us down a dark path which goes against our country’s basic values.
He continued, "they have taken an even darker turn with the Illegal Migration Act, set to come into force soon. It means anyone who enters the UK without the proper clearance will be barred from claiming asylum or receiving protection, even if they are victims of slavery. This will put power directly in the hands of people smugglers, who capitalise on desperate families with nowhere else to turn. It is utterly inhumane, unworkable and unjust. We know as well that the Conservatives will not stop there, even as their policies fail. Their threats this week to the European Convention on Human Rights make that clear."
As Liberal Democrats, we cannot give up. We need to turn our anger into action.
At our forthcoming conference, the Party will be discussing a motion on combating human trafficking and modern slavery. Tackling these challenges is a key part of stopping these dangerous small boat crossings - in a fair and compassionate way.