Immigration Rules: Supported Accommodation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:45 pm on 16th December 2020.

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Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Attorney General) 12:45 pm, 16th December 2020

I thank Caroline Nokes for securing this urgent question. It seems to me that this is not about fixing the asylum system; rather, it is about blocking access to it, leaving people in limbo and undermining the refugee convention in doing so. The Minister has focused on the channel, but putting aside those crossing the channel, can he be clear on what percentage of asylum applicants the Department thinks is likely to be impacted by these inadmissibility rules and left in limbo? Can he be clearer on what statutory support and accommodation will be available to those who are put in that limbo situation? If this is really about replacing Dublin, surely we must wait to see what replacement agreements are concluded and what safeguards are in place before being asked to look at these changes.

Finally, if the Government are serious about fixing the asylum system, will they start by addressing yesterday’s news of 29 deaths in asylum accommodation this year alone? Can we have a clear Government commitment and published policy to record and investigate such deaths, to support the bereaved and to learn lessons so as to prevent further tragedies? Surely creating a legal limbo of several months will only make things worse, not better.