On Monday night, Richard took part in the second reading of the Nationality and Borders Bill debate.
Speaking after the debate, Richard Fuller, MP for North East Bedfordshire, said:
During the debate, I highlighted three key concerns that have consistently been raised with me by constituents that measures in the Bill should address: stopping or clearly limiting the ongoing issue of cross-channel crossing either by boat or truck in order to make a claim for asylum; ending the protracted and often cynical abuse of the legal system to make baseless asylum claims, thereby clogging the system and disadvantaging legitimate claimants; and ending to the 'cherry-picking' whereby asylum claimants pass through safe countries in order to lodge their claim for asylum in the UK.
I also stressed that there are other important aspects to consider in this Bill, such as ensuring claimants have much better access to legal advice; ensuring greater availability of counselling, psychiatric and other medical assessments and creating a culture of getting to the truth, rather than the culture of disbelief that has for too many years permeated the Home Office asylum system.
It was encouraging to hear the Home Secretary use the word “compassion” in opening the debate and I urged us to work together with Members across the House to ensure the Bill shows some compassion for victims of slavery, the treatment of children and how the particular issues of women will be affected by the separation of regular routes from irregular routes. I also asked the Minister to end indefinite detention once and for all.