The consultation period for Priti Patel’s much maligned ‘New Plan for UK Immigration’ closes today. The Home Secretary has faced heavy criticism over the plans, while the consultation process has been branded ‘a sham’. Plans to reform the UK’s asylum and refugee systems were first announced on 24 March.
Patel claims that the main objective of the plans is to deter illegal entry into the UK and people trafficking, while making it easier to remove people from Britain who have no right to be in the country. The Home Secretary also wants to end what she has described as ‘rising abuse of the asylum system’ recently revealed by official statistics.
According to official figures, nearly 50,000 people have entered Britain illegally since 2017, mostly arriving in small boats crossing the English Channel.
Have your say
The Home Office is ‘welcoming’ feedback on the New Plan for Immigration through an online portal. However, the government department has been blasted for the short consultation period and the construction of the consultation’s questions, which seem to push people towards endorsing the plans.
The consultation period was set at six-weeks, but a consultation of this type is usually open for three months.
An overview of the consultation, shown on the online portal, states: “To inform the proposals set out in the New Plan for Immigration, and to ensure they can deliver effective legislative change across the system, the UK government are, from 24th March 2021, initiating a 6-week comprehensive consultation and engagement process to listen to a wide range of views from stakeholders and sectors, as well as members of the public.”
“The deadline for consultation responses is 11.45pm today. The consultation is being undertaken on behalf of the UK government by independent insight consultancy, BritainThinks. The questions included in this consultation ask for your comment and opinion on these plans for a new fair, but firm system. We look forward to receiving your feedback,” the overview added.
Sign up required
To comment on the consultation, prospective respondents are being asked to sign up by sharing their name and email address. People can also sign up using Google or Facebook.
Explaining how the consultation works, the online portal states that:
None of the core questions are compulsory to complete and questions can be skipped - please answer as many questions as you would like.
You can copy and paste in text to 'open' questions, where there is a text box to write in an answer (for example, should you wish to draft a response separately, and then add this to the platform).
If you are unable to complete the questionnaire via the online platform, it is also possible to complete the consultation in another format, should you wish to do so (for example, responding via email or by letter).
Once a person has signed up, they will be able to track the progress of the New Plan for Immigration following the consultation period.
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