Tuesday, November 28, 2023

UK to designate India as a safe country, barring asylum claims for Indian nationals entering illegally

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UK government has declared its intention to designate India as a “safe state,” expediting the repatriation process for individuals who have entered the UK illegally from India. This move renders all asylum claims from Indian nationals arriving via small boats or unauthorized routes inadmissible, with no option for appeals; they will be promptly returned.

The decision to include India and Georgia in the list of ‘safe states’ aligns with the objectives outlined in the “Illegal Migration Act 2023,” emphasizing the UK government’s commitment to curbing illegal boat arrivals. The UK Home Office emphasized that the proposed legislation, presented in Parliament on Wednesday, aims to fortify the immigration system and prevent abuse, particularly through baseless protection claims.

Highlighting the surge in small boat arrivals from India and Georgia over the past year, the UK Home Office underscored that individuals from these countries, despite lacking apparent persecution risks, will not be admitted into the UK asylum system if they enter illegally. The UK Home Office extended the list of safe states to include Albania and Switzerland, along with European Union and European Economic Area states.

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman stressed the necessity of halting perilous and illicit journeys to the UK from inherently safe nations. Emphasizing the commitment to the measures outlined in the Illegal Migration Act, Braverman asserted that the expanded list enables swift removal of individuals without a legal basis to stay in the UK, sending a clear message that illegal entry will not be tolerated.

According to the UK Home Office, a country can only be categorized as a safe state under Section 80AA if the Home Secretary is convinced that there is generally no serious risk of persecution for its nationals, and repatriation does not violate the UK’s obligations under the Human Rights Convention. The UK Home Office clarified that the designation under Section 80AA is subject to the draft affirmative procedure, involving scrutiny through parliamentary debates before implementation.

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