The British minister who was behind the revocation of Dominica’s visa-free access to the United Kingdom, has been sacked in a cabinet reshuffle.
Suella Braverman was relieved of her job as Home Secretary on Monday by British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, following mounting political pressure on to act against her from within his own Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party.
It had nothing to do with the Dominica visa matter but with pro-Palestinian protests in London. After the protests, Braverman wrote an opinion piece in The Times of London in which she blamed the police for “playing favorites” and for being lenient on them. She also described the protesters as “pro-Palestinian mobs” and “hate marchers”.
Sunak said she violated the ministerial code by not running the article by his office before it was published.
Braverman is known for her tough stance on immigration to Britain, although she is the daughter of immigrants from Kenya and Mauritius.
It was under her watch that the British government decided that Dominica passport holders need a visa to travel to and transit the United Kingdom because of concerns over the island’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program.
In a statement to the House of Commons in July, she said careful considerations of Dominica’s program showed “clear and evident abuse of the scheme, including the granting of citizenship to individuals known to pose a risk to the UK.”
“The decision to impose these visa requirements has been taken solely for migration and border security reasons and is not a sign of poor relations with these countries,” Braverman said back then. “Any decision to change a visa regime is not taken lightly and we keep our border and immigration system under regular review to ensure it continues to work in the UK national interest.”
The decision was described as a blow to Dominica’s CBI program by foreign minister, Dr. Vince Henderson and it is unknown as this point if there will be change in policy now the the United Kingdom has a new Home Secretary.
Other tough anti-immigration policies championed by Braverman was the plan to block the entry in the UK of refugees crossing the English Channel in small boat – the so-called “stop the boats” plan.
In March 2023, she admitted the controversial plan pushed “the boundaries of international law” but insisted action was needed because the British asylum system was being “overwhelmed.”
Meanwhile, Braverman has remained relatively quiet on her sacking only saying, ” “It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as Home Secretary.”
“I will have more to say in due course,” she added.