Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

[2nd Allotted Day]

Part of Immigration (Time Limit on Detention) – in the House of Commons at 2:03 pm on 5th December 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Diane Abbott Diane Abbott Shadow Home Secretary 2:03 pm, 5th December 2018

I have to make progress.

Let me first deal with the status of EU nationals. I begin by saying how distasteful it was to many of us that the Prime Minister referred to “queue jumpers”. She seemed to be implying that there was some unfairness or illegitimacy in their role in British society, whereas EU nationals play a vital role in business, academia, agriculture and public services such as health and social care. EU citizens and their dependants living here cannot be reassured by the terms of the deal. The Home Secretary has given general assurances, but the deal says almost nothing in detail about their rights, including work, residency and access to services. No one on either side of the House who has ever had anything to do with the immigration and nationality directorate can have confidence in the Home Office’s ability to process the approximately 5 million applications that are required to process settled status applications. I am aware that the Home Secretary sets great store by his app, but he knows perfectly well that it cannot be used on iPhones, and although it has been trialled, the trials involved volunteers and only the simpler cases.

We have all seen the shameful chaos around the Windrush scandal. Today’s National Audit Office report on Windrush is comprehensively negative. It criticises the Home Office for its poor-quality data; the risky use of deportation targets; poor value for money; and a failure to respond to numerous warnings that its policies would hurt people living in the UK legally. It is a damning report, and Ministers should be ashamed. EU citizens can only await with trepidation their further and deeper engagement with the Home Office.