Our Statement in Response to the Anti Refugee Laws.

Refugees Welcome

At Ben & Jerry’s we believe people fleeing war, climate change or persecution should be able to rebuild their lives in safety. But right now, even against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and the biggest forced displacement of people since WWII, the UK Government has just passed its Nationality and Borders Act – and it’s totally, and intentionally, anti-refugees. 

Rather than providing protection to those most in need, the UK Government has chosen to introduce these dangerous laws which experts have warned will cause severe harm and tragically lead to unnecessary deaths

75% of the UK public agree that if they were forced to flee a conflict, they would take any route they could to find safety for themselves and their family. Yet, from now on, a person’s asylum claim will be judged on how they travelled to the UK - regardless of what they are escaping and what protection they need. For people who make their own way to the UK rather than remaining in a country where help may never come, they will be punished not protected as our Government has given themselves the power to:

  • Deport people (to any country!!) without considering their claim for asylum
  • Send people to random countries or islands where they’ll be locked up for ‘processing’
  • Hold people in dangerous refugee warehouses in the UK for months before someone’s claim is even considered

Even if after months or years of waiting, the UK does reluctantly grant someone refugee status, they’ll have reduced rights. Our Government’s new powers to remove someone’s refugee protection and deport them to an unsafe country after just 30 months, will mean people remain trapped in the traumatic limbo they’ve already been facing for months and years. People may also never see their families again as rights such as refugee family reunion will be taken away from them. 

These new laws are intentionally cruel and unfair. But the actions of this Government in implementing these laws are out of step with the majority of the British public. People who have opened their homes to those fleeing Ukraine, donated and protested and sent support any way they can. People who are kind and compassionate and want to see people seeking safety given the sanctuary they need. 

Our message to this Government is that this fight is not over. 

Alongside 215 other organisations we are taking a stand against the anti-refugee laws. We pledge to:

  • Defend the right to seek safety from war and persecution in the UK;
  • Speak out against attempts to make it harder to be recognised as a refugee or criminalise, and punish those who make their own way to safety
  • Challenge the anti-refugee laws which will risk the lives and well-being of people
  • Work towards a refugee protection system that treats all people with dignity and compassion.

Find out more via fighttheantirefugeelaws.org