A Conservative MP has reiterated Suella Braverman’s claim that 100 million asylum seekers could come to the UK without an immigration crackdown.
Scott Benton, the MP for Blackpool South, took a stand in parliament during the second reading of the government’s Illegal Immigration Bill.
He said: “We simply can’t accept 100s of millions of people. This country is nearly full.”
Last week, the home secretary was accused of “inflammatory language” after she used the figure and claimed the “law-abiding patriotic majority” has said had enough of people arriving on small boats.
Braverman also said it would “betray” British voters not to tackle the “waves of illegal migrants breaching our border” as she unveiled plans for new laws to stop Channel crossings.
She added: “There are 100 million people around the world who could qualify for protection under our current laws. Let’s be clear. They are coming here.”
The Refugee Council said Braverman’s language was “unhelpful” – pointing out that it was wrong to suggest that there were 100 million asylum seekers around the world.
While the UNHRC has estimated that there at more than 100 million forcibly displaced people around the world, but only 26 million have left their own country.
“It’s an unhelpful suggestion that millions could come to the UK,” said Jon Featonby, chief policy analyst at the Refugee Council. “It simply doesn’t reflect that reality that the vast majority displaced from their homes stay within the country.”
The expert added: “It is vital as the debate continues it is informed by fact and reality rather than assumptions that don’t reflect lived experience.”