Northern Ireland

DUP MP Gavin Robinson brands Tories' proposed asylum and migration bill 'illegal and unworkable'

DUP MP Gavin Robinson. Picture by Mark Marlow
DUP MP Gavin Robinson. Picture by Mark Marlow DUP MP Gavin Robinson. Picture by Mark Marlow

DUP MP Gavin Robinson has claimed the Tories' proposed asylum and migration laws are part of a "culture war" and are "more about the forthcoming general election than anything else".

The East Belfast representative and colleague Jim Shannon were the only two DUP MPs who voted following Monday's debate, both supporting Labour's bid to block controversial bill's passage.

Mr Robinson told The Irish News the proposed legislation was "on the face of it illegal and unworkable".

Speaking in the House of Commons, the DUP's Westminster spokesperson on home affairs and immigration said he was "not an out-of-touch lefty" and was "not on the side of people smugglers".

"I am not a naive do-gooder and I am not against the British people but I will be supporting the official opposition’s amendment this evening," he said.

 

He said he supported the Tories Nationality and Borders Bill and was "incredibly encouraged" when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak "highlighted the problems with our immigration system" earlier this year.

"I thought there was a clear sign that our government were actually going to grasp these issues in a way that would work, not present us with a bill that, on the face of it, is incompatible with the ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights)," he said.

"I am interested in dealing with the problems of unmanaged or illegal migration in this country but I am not interested in getting involved in what amounts to a culture war—a political culture war that is more about the forthcoming general election than anything else. It is a shame all around."

The bill won support from a majority of MPs and will now proceed to committee stage.