Refugees (Family Reunion) (No.2) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:03 am on 16th March 2018.

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Photo of Ranil Jayawardena Ranil Jayawardena Conservative, North East Hampshire 11:03 am, 16th March 2018

I will give way in a moment.

When assessing asylum claims, Home Office officials must already consider the best interests of the child. A similar consideration must be taken under another of the UK’s commitments in international law, which is as a signatory to the European convention on human rights. The UK is a signatory because of a historical desire to spread British values, and often where British values lead, the world has followed. It is often said that the convention was originally conceived by Churchill and drafted mainly by British lawyers.

It is perhaps ironic that, as I contend, shameless ambulance-chasing lawyers now use the convention as a stick with which to hit Britain in all sorts of situations. That is perhaps worst seen in their behaviour over soldiers in Iraq and Northern Ireland, but some of the worst offenders in the legal profession also use their skills to purport that certain people are refugees when they are not. That devalues the argument, which should rightly be agreed across the whole House, that genuine refugees ought to have the support of this country.