THE SNP has demanded the UK Government put an end to policies they say are rooted in “systemic racism”.
Marking 10 years since its introduction, the party said the Tories’ “hostile environment” must go.
Anne McLaughlin warned of the long-lasting legacy of the controversial policy umbrella, which she said is one of “fear, division, and sheer cruelty towards minority communities”.
The MP pointed to the Windrush scandal, an increase in “already sky-high” visa fees, “go home” vans, the Napier and Penally barracks scandals and the continuation of the ‘no recourse to public funds’ policy.
The call comes after the UK Home Office announced it would send asylum seekers who came to the UK through “illegal means” to Rwanda on a one-way fight – which the UN has said breaches international law.
The Glasgow north east MP urged the UK Government to scrap the policies she was “stoking fear and dividing communities”.
McLaughlin said: “The Tories’ hostile environment has done more than just make life miserable for people seeking safety in the UK, it has criminalised and impoverished many thousands, including those who have come here through the limited ‘legal’ routes, and widened community divides.
“Its legacy will be a long-lasting one of fear, division, and sheer cruelty towards minority communities.
“We’ve seen British citizens deported to countries they’ve never set foot in, ‘go home vans’ used to stoke fear in predominantly Bame communities, asylum seekers housed in inhumane conditions, and now the UK Tory government plans to break international law and ship refugees off to Rwanda, a country with a dodgy human rights record.
“The Windrush scandal alone was one of the most disgraceful points in recent history.”
The SNP MP said the Tories seemed “determined to double down on cruel Home Office policies”.
She said while the UK Government said the policies were aimed at tackling unlawful migration, they “actually contribute towards a systemic racism that should’ve been left behind a long long time ago”.
She continued: “In the last 10 years, the Tories – particularly Home Secretaries – have had ample opportunity to reverse the culture of fear and cruelty that’s been ushered in by the hostile environment but they have instead continued to act as cheerleaders for it.
“The UK government must reflect on what the last 10 years has really meant and the brutal impact it has had in communities across the country – they must reverse all policies under the hostile environment banner.”
The UK Government has been approached for comment.