New Plan for Immigration

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:57 pm on 24th March 2021.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department 12:57 pm, 24th March 2021

If the right hon. Lady had heard my statement, she would have heard some figures about those who are being trafficked right now. They are predominantly single men. She makes a very valid and important point, which supports the case for safe and legal routes, around children in particular. This is not just about camps in Greece, and let us not forget, of course, that we have been in a pandemic, which is part of the reason, as the right hon. Lady knows—we have discussed it at the Home Affairs Committee—and as many hon. Members know, having been reminded of it again and again and again, the Government are absolutely committed, as the record shows, to resettling children, and to family reunion rights.

That is absolutely right, and we are doing that. We are committed to that, but through safe and legal routes. We need to create new routes, and not just from the camps in Greece. The right hon. Lady will know as well—I have been to many myself—that within regions, where there are wars and conflict, we need to create safe and legal routes, and not just from the Mediterranean. Too many people have been smuggled to that Mediterranean route. We need to do much more in-country, and in some of those terrible zones. I hope that she would support this work on that basis.