Yesterday at least twenty-seven people lost their lives trying to reach the UK. We are beyond heartbroken at this devastating loss of life in the channel. Each life was someone’s loved one; a husband, daughter, grandfather, sister, friend. Someone.
No one ever should be forced to risk their life to reach sanctuary, family and the chance to rebuild.
The government wants us to think that there is no alternative to hostility, that more and more extreme deterrents are the answer – but we know this will only cause more loss of life.
Too many people have lost their lives in the water around this island already. This tragedy must mark a turning point. We have to do better. Now is the time for a humane, compassionate and effective governmental response.
◾No more demonisation of people seeking safety
◾No more criminalisation of those who save lives at sea
◾No more talk of pushbacks and offshore camps
Division and hostility will be our downfall. We need an asylum system built on compassion, dignity and the recognition of our shared humanity.
Every day we see ordinary people stepping up to show extraordinary welcome and solidarity to people seeking sanctuary in this country. Now is the time for our government to do the same.