A legal challenge has been made to the Home Office on its consultation process for the New Plan for Immigration.
Duncan Lewis Solicitors are presenting the challenge on the behalf of five clients who stand to be affected by the UK Government’s New Plan for Immigration. The challenge focuses on the consultation’s lack of accessibility to those who do not speak or read English or Welsh, the consultation’s short time frame, and its lack of scope for the submission of intelligent and meaningful response.
We have submitted a witness statement in support of the legal challenge, which details our deep concerns around this consultation. Our statement includes our observations on its short time period, which ran almost exactly concurrently with the Scottish election period (the first election in which those with refugee status were eligible to vote). The statement also includes our concerns about the consultation’s ‘deep dive’ roundtable sessions, run by BritainThinks, which we did not judge to have allowed for meaningful discussion of the issues at stake.
Gary Christie, Director of Policy, Communications and Communities, Scottish Refugee Council said: “The UK Government’s New Plan for Immigration quite simply presents the biggest threat to refugee rights we have seen for decades. Given the scale of the proposed reforms and their impact on the lives of people seeking protection, this short, outsourced consultation was completely insufficient.
“Many of these proposals directly intrude on the devolved competences of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government, such as the Scottish legal system, anti-trafficking legislation and age assessment process. The consultation period for these proposals ran at exactly the same time as the Scottish elections, meaning many Scottish authorities have been unable to respond.”
Further details of this legal challenge are available on the Duncan Lewis website.