Following the second reading of the Illegal Migration Bill yesterday (March 13th), Rachel said:
“Last night I voted for the Illegal Migration Bill, delivering on the promise I made to my constituents to strengthen our borders and to put an end to the small boats crossing the English Channel.
“It’s a shame Labour voted against the Bill. They talk the talk on tackling illegal migration, but when it comes to it they will never back up their words with action.
“This Bill does not stop us from helping the world’s most in need. We’re a compassionate country and that will continue to be the case. In recent years we have played a leading role in rehoming hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine. A record we can all be proud of.
“Parliament will set a cap on the number of refugees and asylum seekers who are rehomed in the UK. That is a sensible approach, ensuring we continue to rehome our fair share of the world’s most vulnerable.
“What the Bill will allow us to do is to remove people who enter our country illegally.
“There is a clear difference between helping refugees and economic migration, and that has clearly been lost in this debate.
“It is not wrong to believe that we should be able to control our borders. We have the sovereign right to decide who can or cannot enter our country. Our friends around the world do just that including Australia, New Zealand and Canada. I’m pretty sure they are not viewed as bigoted countries!
“We need an immigration system built around the needs of our economy, and not one decided by criminal gangs making vast amounts of money by sending people across the Channel on small boats.”