Patagonia

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 10th June 2009.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Hywel Williams Hywel Williams Shadow PC Spokesperson (Education), Shadow PC Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Health) 11:30 am, 10th June 2009

What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the policy of UK Border Agency staff at airports towards people from Welsh-speaking communities in Patagonia wishing to enter the UK in order to visit Wales.

Watch this
Embed this video

Copy and paste this code on your website

Hide

Photo of Wayne David Wayne David The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

The United Kingdom welcomes Patagonians who are visiting Wales. We welcome the fact that they are keen to explore their Welsh heritage, and of course the UKBA does not have any separate policy in relation to Welsh-speaking people from Patagonia.

Watch this

Photo of Hywel Williams Hywel Williams Shadow PC Spokesperson (Education), Shadow PC Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Health)

I thank the Under-Secretary of State for that answer. Does he share my outrage, and that of people throughout Wales, including my hon. Friend Mr. Llwyd, at the treatment of a young Patagonian visitor, Miss Evelyn Calcabrini? She travelled for 35 hours to get to Heathrow, but was summarily ejected and sent back. She is not the only young Welsh Patagonian who has, unfortunately, suffered summary ejection for no good cause that I can see. Will the Under-Secretary therefore use his good offices to facilitate a meeting between myself, my hon. Friend and the immigration Minister, so that this disgraceful stain on our welcome to Welsh Patagonians can be remedied once and for all?

Watch this

Photo of Wayne David Wayne David The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

I thank the hon. Gentleman for raising that issue. I am aware of the concerns that he and Mr. Llwyd have about the matter. I give my commitment that the Secretary of State and I will meet the relevant Home Office Minister as soon as possible. Clearly the issue is important, and we want it sorted out as quickly as possible.

Watch this

Photo of Elfyn Llwyd Elfyn Llwyd Shadow Spokesperson (Innovation, Universities and Skills), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Chief Whip (Commons), Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Justice)

May I, through the Minister, congratulate his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on his return to the Front Bench, and also wish Mr. Murphy all the best for the future?

The point on the subject of the question has been well made by my hon. Friend Hywel Williams. The Minister knows of the historical cultural connection between Patagonia and Wales. The young woman in question had every right to stay for six months to brush up on the Welsh language. I am grateful for the commitment that the Minister and his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State have given, and I look forward to having a very early meeting with the Minister for Borders and Immigration.

Watch this
E

I don't know the full circumstances of this case but surely any adult with a modicum of common sense would find out whether they would be admitted to a country before they embarked on such a journey?. I doubt that staying in the UK to brush up on the Welsh language is a legitimate reason for someone to stay 6 months so why is there such a fuss? The best way to deal with this alleged anomaly is through the legislation which I had always assumed the likes of Elfyn Llwyd my MP would have been actively involved in passing through Parliament. If this is being...

Submitted by Evan Owen Continue reading

Photo of Wayne David Wayne David The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

We have already had a conversation about the issue, as the hon. Gentleman knows. Obviously, I cannot refer in any great detail to the case that he cites, but I underline the fact that it is important that the cultural links between Wales and Patagonia be enhanced. We should make sure that everything is done to ensure that free movement can take place.

Watch this

Photo of David Davies David Davies Conservative, Monmouth

As somebody who has consistently opposed the Government's policy of unlimited immigration, may I say how horrified I was that the young lady in question was turned back for no good reason? May I ask the Minister to ensure that amends are made in some way, and to ensure that she is given the welcome to learn Welsh in Wales that she deserves?

Watch this
J

Yes, unlimited immigration! Unlimited immigration from Europe instigated by our leaders. However people ariving from ex commonwealth countries, escaping persecution, torture, rape and possible death are rejected...

Submitted by John Catley Continue reading

Photo of Wayne David Wayne David The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

As I just said, it is important that we have the greatest possible cultural interchange between Wales and Patagonia; that is of both historical and contemporary importance. It would not be right for me to go into any great detail about the particular case to which hon. Members have referred, but I underline the commitment that I have made to make sure that meetings take place. We hope that the situation can be resolved and will not arise again.

Watch this