Immigration Rules: Supported Accommodation

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 12:45 pm, 16th December 2020

First, as I have said, the people in this cohort will not be in limbo, because after a reasonable period, if no return to another country is possible, the asylum claim will be substantively considered here. The possibility of limbo that the hon. Gentleman referred to does not exist, as I have said twice already.

Secondly, the hon. Gentleman raised the question of destitution. As I said in response to Holly Lynch, the people in this cohort will be eligible for accommodation and support, so the risk of destitution, which would be in contravention of article 3, does not exist either.

The hon. Gentleman asked about people crossing the channel and referenced the refugee convention. He will know that article 31 of the refugee convention talks about people

“coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened” being immune to various forms of penalty. He will know that France is a safe country where people’s life and freedom are not threatened. Human rights are respected in France. Asylum claims can be processed in France and, indeed, in other countries through which this cohort typically pass prior to their arrival in France. That deals with the questions that he raised.

The hon. Gentleman mentioned the very sad deaths in accommodation, every single one of which is, of course, a tragedy. I remind him that we have 60,000 people in asylum accommodation. While each individual case is very sad, if he studies the statistics he will see that the numbers are not out of line with what we would expect among a population of 60,000 people.