Writing in today’s Redditch Standard (April 1st), Rachel said:

“This country has a long and proud tradition of providing sanctuary to those in need. The British people are generous and compassionate, and we only have to look around us to see that compassion in action right now in response to the innocent Ukrainians fleeing war.

“The Nationality and Borders Bill is the cornerstone of the Government’s New Plan for Immigration, delivering the most comprehensive reform in decades to fix the broken asylum system.

“This Bill is about delivering a long-term solution to the long-term problems that have beset the asylum system over a period of decades and will give us the capacity to respond more effectively and immediately to crises that call upon our tradition of providing sanctuary.

“Like my constituents, I am horrified about the exploitation of vulnerable people by criminal gangs and traffickers. Illegal crossings endanger lives and frequently end in tragedy. We need to break the business model of international criminal gangs who take advantage of vulnerable people risking their lives in the Channel to reach the UK and instead ensure safe travel routes for those wishing to enter our country legally.

“I am proud of the Government’s record in resettling those fleeing conflict. The UK is the third highest contributor of overseas development aid in the world, and we have resettled more refugees than any other country in Europe.

“The goodwill of the British people relies on their trust that the system is fair and not being abused. This legislation will increase the fairness of the system to protect and support those in genuine need of asylum, whilst deterring illegal entry into the UK – breaking the business model of people smugglers – and protecting the lives of those they endanger.”