Campaigners have criticised the Conservative Party’s proposal to
withdraw from the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and introduce an
annual quota of refugees and immigrants.
Speaking in London last week, Conservative leader Michael Howard
said that a quota was necessary as “immigration cannot continue at
its present uncontrolled levels”.
The limit would be determined by economic need, family reunion and
the “moral obligation to genuine refugees”, he said.
Chief executive of the Refugee Council Maeve Sherlock said the
plans failed to contribute to the asylum debate in “any
“These proposals will not offer refugees a safe haven in the UK. We
need separate systems for refugees and for people coming here to
work. An arbitrary limit on all immigration, including refugees,
would put lives at risk and would damage our economy,” she
She added that the UN Refugee Convention saved millions of lives
every year and relied on the commitment of all countries in order
for it to work.