Congress notes that:
i. the Nationalities and Borders Act (NABA) effectively takes Britain out of the Refugee Convention and its established international refugee laws and practices
ii. the government’s own equality impact assessment of the NABA finds that it will discriminate on the grounds of race and nationality, by disadvantaging asylum seekers especially from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and Sudan
iii. parts of the Act empower the home secretary to secretly strip British people of their citizenship, disproportionately impacting Black British citizens.
Congress condemns the Nationalities and Borders Act as a vicious piece of legislation designed to whip up racism.
Congress condemns the proposal for a policy of pushback to turn refugees back when they are intercepted on the English Channel. Congress welcomes PCS’s decision to work with Care4Calais to seek a judicial review which forced the abandonment of the policy.
Congress condemns the government’s inhumane plan to transport people seeking asylum in the UK to Rwanda to be housed in offshore detention camps.
Congress notes that Rwandan police have beaten and shot refugees protesting against poor conditions in its camps.
This is a clear attempt by the Tory government to deflect people’s anger over ‘partygate’ and the cost-of-living crisis by scapegoating desperate people trying to find safety.
Congress welcomes the protests called by campaigning organisations and the legal action taken by PCS along with Detention Action, Care4Calais and refugees against the Rwanda policy.
Congress condemns the government’s approach as brutal and racist, and notes that there are barely any legal routes for refugees to reach Britain.
Congress believes that:
a. the NABA, including its two-tier system of legal and illegal refugees, the Rwanda offshore detention policy, the threat to the citizenship of millions of British people, is racist
b. the trade union movement should mobilise alongside other campaign groups to oppose racist division when workers are being hit by attacks on living standards in the cost-of-living crisis
c. joint trade union and campaign group actions, including the legal challenge against pushbacks in the Channel, have been successful.
Congress instructs the General Council to:
1. work across the TUC to raise awareness of the cruelty of the NABA, campaign for the repeal of the Nationalities and Borders Act, challenge all racist scapegoating, as well as monitor and evidence its impact to highlight its failings
2. campaign against the Rwanda asylum policy
3. campaign, alongside other organisations, for a humane immigration policy that includes safe legal routes for refugees and asylum seekers to enter the UK
4. support protests being organised against the Act and the Rwandan policy
5. encourage unions to mobilise their memberships to collectively challenge aspects of the NABA that they are required to undertake that are potentially in breach of international law or the European Convention on Human Rights
6. support campaign groups or charities that are legally challenging aspects of the Act and take up opportunities to mount legal challenges where appropriate support, publicise and encourage involvement in any public mobilising campaigns.
Mover: Public and Commercial Services Union
Seconder: National Education Union