One of the issues constituents have raised with me the most has been that of illegal immigration. The Nationality and Borders Bill, to be put before the Commons next week, is reported to include provisions enabling the Government to send illegal asylum seekers abroad for processing in offshore immigration centres. We have also been in discussions with the Danish government about working together on this issue and it is thought that we could be using places such as Rwanda in Africa.
This would be the first time the UK has legislated for the possible creation of offshore centres, designed to stem the number of illegal asylum seekers by utilising similar control methods to those successfully employed by the Australian Government.
Providing refuge to those experiencing persecution is a longstanding, noble national commitment, one which the United Kingdom has honoured throughout history. However, the current system is abused by irresponsible activist ‘rights’ lawyers and despicable human traffickers.
I’m glad to see the Government listening to the silent majority of Britons who want to see firm action on this front, having long championed a no-nonsense, root and branch reform of the asylum system to bring an end to such practices.
The other good news this week is of course the not so small matter of England beating Germany in the knockout phase of a major tournament for the first time since 1966. Having spent most of my life seeing the Germans knock us out, be it on penalties at Italia 90 and Euro 96, or when Frank Lampard wasn’t awarded a goal when the ball was clearly a foot over the line, it was a greatly satisfying win. Unlike at Euro 2000, when we crashed out the group stages despite beating Germany 1-0, this time we progressed and now we have a great chance of winning the tournament.
I have been critical over the last few weeks about England players taking the knee before matches. I think most of us would agree that racism still exists in football and wider society and that we should do everything we can to tackle it. I have just never felt that taking the knee is an effective way of doing this and for me it also carries a lot of political baggage. I would prefer they used something different.
Whilst taking the knee before games is not something I support and I will continue to be critical of, my support for the team will always continue regardless. I couldn’t get a ticket for the game, so I watched it in the pub instead – always an appealing option.
So let’s get behind the team and hope that finally – after 55 long years – that football will finally be coming home.