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

I thank my right hon. Friend, who has a distinguished legal background, for his question. He is absolutely right: we need to deter these crossings, and we need to ensure that our legal process works effectively. As my right hon. Friend John Redwood said, very often it does not do so. Despite that, we are able to return and deport quite large numbers of people if they should not be in the country or if they have committed very serious criminal offences, as we discussed a couple of weeks ago.

In relation to the question about immediate returns from 1 January, that is the policy objective of the Government—it is my objective, the Home Secretary’s objective and, indeed, the Prime Minister’s objective. But in order to effect returns, we need the agreement of the receiving country, and so my top priority, as soon as the European-level negotiations are concluded, is to seek exactly those kind of return agreements.