THE UK Government looks set to “trash” international treaties after the Home Secretary announced plans to ban anybody who enters Britain illegally from claiming asylum.

Suella Braverman, who was tasked with running the Home Office after Liz Truss took over as Prime Minister, told the Tory conference in Birmingham that she wanted “the kind of immigration that grows our economy”.

She went on: “Parts of the system aren’t delivering. We need to end abuse of the rules and cut down on those numbers that aren’t meeting the needs of our economy.”

The ban on asylum claims marks a new tactic to try to drive down the number of small boat crossings, after Braverman’s “dream” of flying asylum seekers to Rwanda stalled amid a slew of legal challenges.

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The move, which was reported in the media ahead of Braverman’s announcement, has led to widespread condemnation, with warnings that the UK Government risks “breaking international law”.

Sabir Zazai (below), the chief executive of the Scottish Refugee Council and a former asylum seeker, said: “Today’s announcement from the Home Secretary is shocking, incredibly cruel, and risks breaking international law. This Government is shamefully playing politics with the lives of people who have fled war, terror and oppression.

“We cannot stress this enough – under the UN Refugee Convention, to which the UK is a founding signatory, there is no illegal method of arrival to a country to seek asylum.”

The National: Sabir Zazai, Chief Executive of Scottish Refugee Council. He is pictured in the SRC offices in Glasgow..Photograph by Colin Mearns.2 September 2022.For Herald on Sundy.

Article 31 of the 1951 convention to which Zazai was referring say that states “shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence, on refugees who … are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence”.

Braverman’s plan to ban anyone who crosses the Channel from claiming asylum would be in breach of this convention. It may also be in breach of a landmark 1999 English legal case which concluded that refugees do not have to claim asylum in the first safe country they reach to be protected by Article 31.

The SNP’s shadow home secretary, Stuart McDonald MP, said that the announcements from Braverman would do “nothing” to slow Channel crossings, but would “subject people to more inhumane and illegal treatment”.

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He went on: "Not only are her proposals cruel, they trash the Refugee Convention and the Human Right's Convention, as well as Modern Slavery Act protections for victims of trafficking.

"The UK Government must realise these plans will achieve nothing except cause extra pain and misery to families fleeing war-torn countries, or places where they face persecution.

"It is vital that Scotland secures its independence so that we can have a humane asylum system in Scotland – one that offers refugees protection, security and dignity from the moment they arrive here.”

Clare Moseley, the founder of refugee charity Care4Calais said that the UK Government’s “rhetoric around people crossing the Channel is simply false”.

“There is a mountain of evidence that the vast majority are genuine refugees; this criminalisation of them is blatant victim blaming of incredibly vulnerable people, simply for the purpose of grabbing headlines,” she added.

Pointing to statistics which suggest the vast majority of people making small boat crossings across the Channel are genuine asylum seekers, Zazai went on: “The top nationalities of people making these dangerous journeys include Afghanistan, Eritrea, Syria and Iran. 97% of asylum claims made by Afghans are successful, 98% of claims from Syrians are granted, 97% of claims from Eritreans are granted, and 85% of applications from Iranians are successful.

“We’ve seen increasingly cruel policies on refugee rights announced by UK Governments in recent years, but we cannot accept this lack of humanity as the norm.”

The Scottish Government said it had “repeatedly made clear that any proposals which abdicate the UK’s moral and international responsibilities to recognise and support refugees put the UK’s reputation as a country of refuge at serious risk, and increase risks of exploitation and destitution”.

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A spokesperson added: “The Scottish Government has raised serious concerns about the UK Government’s inhumane asylum system with the Home Office and will continue to press UK ministers to ensure there are safe and legal routes to the UK, which is critical to reducing the number of people forced to make perilous journeys.”

So far this year, it is estimated that more than 33,500 people have arrived in the UK after making the journey from France.

Channel crossings continued on Tuesday after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) recorded 541 arrivals in nine boats on Monday.

In September, 7961 made the crossing to the UK.

August 22 saw a record 1295 migrants making the journey in a single day.

The record number of crossings comes despite plans put forward by the previous home secretary, Priti Patel, to send people to Rwanda to claim asylum there.

So far not one person has been flown to the central African nation, but the Tory government has spent more than £120 million on the scheme.