What is the Nationality and Borders Bill? 

It is a bill that contains provisions about nationality, asylum, and immigration as well as victims of slavery or human trafficking. This includes the home office being able to remove someone's UK citizenship without informing them. The bill has been passed through the house of commons and is currently in the house of lords. The aims of the bill are to make the system fairer and so protect and support those who need asylum; discourage illegal entry from the UK, and remove people who have no rights to be in the UK more easily. However many charities and human rights organisations believe the opposite is the case. The UNHCR have 'serious concerns' about the bill and believe it may be in conflict with the 1951 Refugee Convention. They have written legal observations on the bill which you can access through this link. Likewise Amnesty International believe the bill will not protect or save lives as it 'will create significant obstacles and harms to people seeking asylum'. You can access their Fact Checker here

Do you feel anxious and worried about the news and the Nationality and Borders Bill?

Here are some tips to cope and some positive news stories to balance the mostly negative narrative in the news.

Coping Tips

Take a step back from the news.
Turn off news notifications and allocate time when you can look at the news for example, at lunch time or after being at work. This is so you aren’t constantly engaging with the news and can relax. Think about limiting your exposure to the news, you can’t live your life in a vacuum but being constantly aware or constantly thinking about a news story, such as the Nationality and Boarders bill isn’t healthy.

Focus on what you can help solve.

What is immediately infront of you? The negative news can make you feel powerless and defeated so lead to wanting to disengage with society. Researchers have found that engaging with local community projects can boost your morale and well-being, this only has to be for an hour or two a week. (Son and Wilson, 2012) This can be anything from volunteering with Oasis or donating to your local food bank.

Challenge unhelpful thinking.

Are things you’re worrying about within your control? Talk yourself through what you are worrying about, and can you do anything about it or is it the right time to be thinking about this? For example, the Nationality and Boarders Bill is a huge legal document currently being debated in parliament which might seem out of control. Thinking about the bill at night won’t help anyone. In the daytime there are other ways to help like signing petitions, attending protests, and contributing to the conversation about the bill and what it means by talking about it with friends or colleagues.

Varying where you get your news stories.

Avoid sensationalist news which may focus on shock factor of stories rather than the facts. Find a news source which is reliable. Additionally, you can add balance by looking for positive news stories.

Some Positive News Stories:

350 Refugees settled in Wales since August https://www.thenational.wales/news/19842504.afghanistan-crisis-350-refugees-settled-wales/
Welsh Government attacks ‘extreme’ UK Borders Bill https://www.thenational.wales/news/19766129.welsh-government-attacks-extreme-uk-borders-bill/

Written By Tess Brunskill