Yesterday, I spoke in the National Borders debate to highlight the welcoming nature of Ipswich towards those who legitimately come over to the UK fleeing persecution, and who want to contribute to society. I also highlighted how this Bill seeks to promote those who come over here legitimately but is also firm in stopping a trade that costs many lives, and risks even more.
In Ipswich we have extended the hand of friendship to many refugees over the years. Places like the Suffolk Refugee Centre have done amazing work to support communities like the Kurdish to settle over here. I recently visited the Bloom Lounge in Ipswich, a bar started by Francesko and his brother Erion; refugees from Albania. It’s a great example of not only how welcoming Ipswich can be, but as Erion is a Conservative councillor, that it is the Conservative party that supports those that need it most.
We need to recognise that those who decide to come over here illegally, each one limits our capacity to show compassion to those that need refuge and asylum. This bill is there to deter the illegal trade and to put a stop to some of the scenes we have seen this week. It sends a message to those who think that setting foot in the UK is enough for success to think again, and that the UK will not tolerate this illegal activity.
I know this is a bill that most people support. It is a bill that takes control and does not rely on the French border police to do it for us. I am confident that the British public are behind us, but I am aware their patience is running thin, and we must deliver. I think this bill makes a real start.