History will judge Downing Street’s inhumane anti-migrant policies

The UK government's anti-migrant policies are doing terrible damage to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

History will judge us by what we say and do, or by how we keep silent on Downing Street’s brutal anti-refugee policies, says the Scottish Greens Justice spokesperson Maggie Chapman.

Ms Chapman will be making her comments this afternoon in a Scottish Government debate on The Impact of UK Government Asylum Policy and Legislation in Scotland.

In opening her speech, Ms Chapman will say: “History will judge us by what we say and do, or by how we keep silent. The scandal that is UK asylum policy and legislation is already having disastrous impacts at multiple levels: internationally, for the UK as a whole, for Scotland and our communities. And, most of all, for the people and families that the asylum system is supposed to protect. 

Reflecting on the impact of these racist and reactionary policies on the world stage, Ms Chapman will say: “While this reputation is an international humiliation, it’s even more serious that other governments may be tempted to follow the UK’s lead. If the United Kingdom, with all its prosperity and advantages, can disregard shared humanity and international law, others will ask, then why shouldn’t we do the same? 

Ms Chapman will finish by saying: “I implore all those who think that these policies are acceptable to take a few moments to imagine themselves faced with the horrific choices which have to be made by those in danger of persecution, imprisonment or death. 

“Think about the dangerous journeys made, the homes, families, friends and lives left behind. Then imagine that when you finally reach what should be a place of safety, the fear continues – fear of attack by hostile far right actors, trauma reawakened by windowless rooms that feel like cells, the anxiety and sleeplessness triggered by rooms shared with unknown strangers.

“These are the realities behind the brash slogan of Stop the Boats, not boats stopped, but lives, families and communities broken and bereft.”