The former Tory leader and Prime Minister said anyone who believed the legislation would halt “illegal migration once and for all is wrong”.

Ms May condemned the “blanket dismissal” of anyone facing persecution who arrives by authorised routes, telling the Commons: “By definition, someone fleeing for their life will more often than not be unable to access a legal route.”

Ms May also raised particular concerns about genuine trafficking victims, as the Illegal Migration Bill would “remove support from the victims of trafficking and modern slavery”.

She added: “As it currently stands, we are shutting the door to victims who are being trafficked into slavery into the UK. The Home Office knows this bill means that genuine victims of modern slavery will be denied support.” Protections for trafficked refugees were introduced by Mrs May during her time as PM

The Government claims that the modern slavery system is being “gamed” by asylum applicants, but the evidence shows that this is untrue. In 2022, 89 per cent of final Home Office decisions on asylum seekers claiming to be modern slavery victims were positive.


Conservative MPs voted through the Illegal Migration Bill at the second reading stage on Monday night – but a growing number of backbenchers have made clear their opposition to current plans. Some, including Simon Hoare, the chair of the Northern Ireland Committee, have said that they would propose amendments to soften the draconian measures proposed by Suella Braverman.