Shropshire Star

Next government must end ‘hostile environment’ against refugees, argue Greens

The party’s co-leader, Patrick Harvie, attacked 14 years of ‘anti-refugee’ policies ahead of a visit to a Glasgow-based charity.

General Election campaign 2024

The next UK government elected on July 4 must end “hostile environment policies” drawn up to discourage refugees from entering the country and build “an open and inclusive system” instead, the Scottish Greens have argued.

The party’s co-leader, Patrick Harvie, attacked 14 years of “anti-refugee” policies he insisted have “punished vulnerable people and families” and seen thousands detained in “awful, prison-like conditions” ahead of a visit to a Glasgow-based charity on Tuesday.

The Scottish Greens have called for the immediate repeal of the Rwanda deal and an end to the use of “brutal” detention centres and institutional accommodation such as barracks, hotel and barges to house refugees.

The Rwanda agreement signed by former home secretary Priti Patel on April 14 2022 paved the way for migrants to be handed a one-way ticket to the east African nation if they were deemed to have arrived in the UK illegally.

Conservative Party leader Rishi Sunak has described the plan as an “indispensable deterrent” and insisted he will see it through if he is re-elected but has admitted no flights will take off before the General Election.

Mr Harvie said: “The hostile environment is one of the most awful, shameful and racist legacies of this Tory government.

“They have thrived on spreading fear and division, and have treated people’s lives like political pawns in their culture war.

“From dawn raids to prison-like detention and deportation flights to Rwanda, they have chased right wing headlines rather than showing humanity.

“Our public services and local businesses all over Scotland are crying out for more workers, but that has been made much harder by a Tory government that has inflicted a disastrous Brexit and has shown total contempt for the rights of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“The Conservatives have made this so much worse, but the shameful truth is that it began under the last Labour government, and I don’t have any confidence that Keir Starmer’s party will make the break that is needed.

“Freedom, empathy, compassion and solidarity are at the heart of the system we want to see.

“Every vote for the Scottish Greens will be a strike against the politics of hate and in favour of dismantling a racist and reactionary Home Office that is not fit for purpose.”

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