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British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:21 pm on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 1:21 pm, 24th March 2020

I thank my hon. Friend and give him this reassurance. There are only three posts that we have drawn down in their entirety: Wuhan and Chongqing in China, which are subsidiary posts, so they can be backed up from Beijing; N’Djamena in Chad; and Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. That was done as a last resort, thinking about the situation there. We are ensuring that, in those jurisdictions I described where Governments have taken action, we have as much capacity, albeit working remotely. We have doubled call centre capacity and we are looking at doubling it again. I hope I can reassure him that we are doing everything we can to ensure that constituents of all Members on both sides of the House have a point of contact. Again, I stress that posts and the Foreign Office network are trying to deal with an unprecedented situation in terms of scale and the rapidity with which restrictions are being imposed.