Passed by a vote of 212 to 157, the bill will criminalise entering UK without a visa and allow the UK to strip individuals of their citizenship without their knowledge if it becomes law.

The bill includes provisions such as imposing prison sentences on migrants who attempt to enter the country illegally.
The bill includes provisions such as imposing prison sentences on migrants who attempt to enter the country illegally. (Reuters Archive)

UK's controversial Nationality and Borders Bill, described as the "anti-refugee bill," has been adopted in the House of Lords, the upper house of Parliament.

The bill was passed in the House of Lords on Wednesday by a vote of 212 to 157.

“It truly is a bleak day for refugees fleeing conflict and persecution,” said Steve Valdez-Symonds, Amnesty International's refugees and migrant rights program director for the UK.

The bill would create a two-tier asylum system that would see asylum seekers who have entered the country illegally receive a “lower class” refugee status.

It still needs the approval of Queen Elizabeth to become law.

READ MORE: British nationality law threatens millions with a loss of citizenship

'Undermines established law and practices'

The bill would criminalise entering the UK without a visa, as well as allow the government to strip an individual’s citizenship without telling them.

It includes provisions such as imposing prison sentences on migrants who attempt to enter the country illegally.

UN refugee agency head Filippo Grandi also decried the bill.

“The UN Refugee Agency regrets that the British government’s proposals for a new approach to asylum that undermines established international refugee protection law and practices has been approved,” Grandi said in a written statement.

“This latest UK Government decision risks dramatically weakening a system that has for decades provided protection and the chance of a new life to so many desperate people,” he added.

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Source: AA