This evening in the House of Commons, we debated a bill to enable the flights to Rwanda to begin. This is an incredibly emotive debate, and I am deeply sympathetic to those who have written to me with their concerns over recent months.
Speaking in today’s debate, I had the opportunity to scrutinise the finite details of the Government’s plans and to make the case for greater cooperation with our European neighbours. We have already seen the benefits of our work with French authorities as they tackle the activities of human traffickers operating on the beaches of northern France.
In this light, I continued to encourage the Government around the role of the European convention and the European Court of Human Rights. It seems to me that, in a debate which at times has become quite philosophical, there is a wide recognition among our constituents that shared sovereignty is often in practice greater sovereignty.
Concluding my remarks, I again turned to the benefits that both the convention and court brings not only to my constituents, but the whole of the UK. In line with our commitments, I also urged Ministers – as I have before – to look again at expanding safe and legal routes. By creating an asylum visa, controlled by the UK Government, we can provide an alternative to those fleeing war and persecution.
You can watch my full contribution to the debate here.