People are outraged by the UK prime minister's new "stop the boats" draft law — something all too familiar to Australians — as he takes advice from a former campaign strategist for Scott Morrison.
As of Wednesday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made stopping boat arrivals one of his five key priorities after the number of migrants arriving on the south coast of England soared to more than 45,000 last year, up 500 per cent in the last two years.
"Today we are introducing new laws that mean if you come to the UK illegally, you will be banned from ever re-entering our country," he announced on Twitter.
"You will be stopped from making late claims...You will be removed in weeks, either to your own country if it is safe to do so, or to a safe third world country like Rwanda."
The United Nation's refugee agency said it was "profoundly concerned" by the proposals, which would deny people the right to asylum "no matter how genuine and compelling" individual cases may be.
Campaign slogan all too familiar to Australians
As he shared his controversial plan at a press conference on Wednesday, the words "STOP THE BOATS" were dramatically displayed on the minister's podium in capital letters.
According to the Sunday Mirror, Prime Minister Sunak recently hired Australian campaign strategist Isaac Levido, after he was dropped by Liz Truss during her fleeting role as prime minister.
Mr Levido, born in Port Macquarie, worked on the 2019 campaigns of Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson that saw them win. He was also a protégé of Sir Lynton Crosby, a well-known political strategist for conservative parties.
‘Stop The Boats’ straight from the Lynton Crosby playbook," Jake Johnstone said on Twitter. "An election run on small boats, culture wars and the economy is essentially a rinse and repeat of Scott Morrison’s election last year."
According to the Yorkshire Post, Mr Levido told the cabinet that there would be a "narrow" road to success if the prime minister can resonate with his key priorities.
Prime Minister Sunak said on Twitter that the reason behind the draft law was to "break the business model of the people smugglers" and "take back control of our borders", however it's something groups like the The United Nation's refugee agency say will criminalise the efforts of thousands of genuine refugees, who each have individual and "compelling" reasons.
UK Prime Minister's proposal blasted online
The proposal had many up in arms, withe one person saying they were "disappointed and embarrassed" by the announcement.
The first UK PM of colour, the son of immigrants, stands behind a podium that says "Stop the Boats" and announces a policy that slams the door on those seeking asylum, violating international law written to protect the vulnerable. I’m so disappointed and embarrassed #NotInMyName pic.twitter.com/5fdF52X0hG
— Henna Rafique (@henna_rafique) March 7, 2023
"The first UK PM of colour, the son of immigrants, stands behind a podium that says "Stop the Boats" and announces a policy that slams the door on those seeking asylum, violating international law written to protect the vulnerable," Henna Rafique said on Twitter.
Mr Sunak said during the conference he would do "whatever is necessary" to stop the small boats and was ready to fight any legal challenges.
"We're up for the fight, I wouldn't be standing here if we weren't - but we're actually confident that we will win," he said.
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