This is a new low from this government: the Home Office just announced it will force banks to spy on every current account in the UK to check immigration statuses.
Young people, people with families in this country, and those who have fled here to escape persecution for their gender or sexuality could all be targeted by this Orwellian scheme. And there are fears the scheme could be further expanded to EU nationals after Brexit, too.
This is a huge overreach, even by the standards of Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’. Simply put, it is not the job of major corporations to do the work of the home office -- that’s a dangerous road for any country to go down.
Barclays has already signed up to this deplorable scheme. Let’s show the banking giant it’s on the wrong side of history on this issue; compliance with this racially-charged policy would not be looked upon kindly by history.
Barclays: don’t comply with this racist hostile environment policy targeting vulnerable people!
The Home Office expects to identify 6,000 people in the first year of the quarterly checks, whose accounts will be shut down or frozen “to make it harder for them to establish or maintain a settled life in the UK”.
Even the Home Office themselves admitted that the move will simply force vulnerable people deeper into the ‘hidden economy.’ And the ‘hostile environment’ policy has a history of major errors, too -- with as many as 1 in 10 people wrongly refused new accounts because they ‘failed’ an immigration status check.
Satbir Singh, CEO for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said: “Immigration status is very complex, and the Home Office consistently gives out incorrect information and guidance. Migrants and ethnic minorities with every right to be here will be affected by the imposition of these new checks.”
A Barclays spokesperson has said the bank is simply complying with the Immigration Act 2016. But this is more a moral issue than a legal one: the checks will undoubtedly target vulnerable groups who are already feeling the worst effects of Brexit and a low-growth, low pay economy created by this government.
Tell Barclays that non-compliance with the Home Office’s hostile environment is the right thing to do!
We can’t stand idly by as Britain becomes a cold and unwelcoming place for those looking for a better life. People who come to this country overwhelmingly contribute to our society -- this is no way to thank them.
There’s a well documented history of controversial practices at Barclays; from tax-avoidance, to rate-fixing. But SumOfUs members have a history of standing up against big corporations -- and winning.
Over 57,000 SumOfUs members like you stood up to the corporation when Barclays-owned Third Energy wanted to frack in Yorkshire. When we come together, we’re more powerful than any number of lobbyists or lawyers.
History won’t look kindly on you, Barclays: it’s your moral duty to not comply with May’s hostile environment!