Our campaigning against the bill showed the devastating impact of it would have on women. Members of the House of Lords in particular were glad for our information and to be in touch.
Over 60 people joined the All African Women’s Group at Parliament Square on 26 April to call on the Lords to stand firm in demanding important changes to protect asylum seekers’ rights under the Refugee Convention. Like everyone, we were shocked and horrified by Priti Patel’s deal with the Rwandan government to send people who have fled to the UK there. With this and a number of other controversial bills still to be agreed by both Houses, the clock was counting down to just a handful of days before the current session of parliament finished. If the Borders Bill wasn’t passed before the recess, it would fall.
The following day, 27 April, the Bill returned to the Lords but the leadership of the Labour Party caved in. It withdrew support from the last vital amendment committing the government to abide to the Refugee Convention. Although 30 Labour peers defied the leadership and voted to support the amendment, it was not enough. The bill was voted through and is now law.
But the battle continues to oppose this vicious legislation: read report here and direct action against Priti Patel here. GWAD’s statement against the Rwanda plan and for the Borders Act to be scrapped is here.