Refugee Convention 1951

Home Department – in the House of Commons at on 25 April 2022.

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Photo of Carol Monaghan Carol Monaghan Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Armed Forces and Veterans), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Education)

What recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Government’s implementation of the 1951 refugee convention.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

Part 2 of the Nationality and Borders Bill defines the key provisions of the refugee convention. In developing this policy we have considered factors such as the law in other jurisdictions, case law and academic works. All provisions of the Bill, as well as our asylum policy framework, are a good-faith, effective interpretation of the refugee convention and are compatible with it.

Photo of Carol Monaghan Carol Monaghan Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Armed Forces and Veterans), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Education)

The Nationality and Borders Bill as it stands does not comply with the 1951 refugee convention. Former Supreme Court judge Lord Brown has said of the Bill that

“several of these provisions flagrantly breach our obligations as interpreted by the UNHCR”.—[Official Report, House of Lords, 4 April 2022; Vol. 820, c. 1882.]

Lord Brown has tabled an amendment to ensure compliance with the convention. Will the Minister confirm that the Government will support Lord Brown’s amendment?

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

I thank the hon. Lady for raising that point. Under the Vienna convention, it is for Parliament to interpret our international obligations. We will always act in accordance with our international obligations; we have made that consistently clear. The Bill has been through appropriate due diligence, and we will get on and deliver it.