Home Affairs Committee

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:23 pm on 21st July 2022.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Chair, Home Affairs Committee, Chair, Home Affairs Committee 12:23 pm, 21st July 2022

I welcome the comments from the hon. Member, who is of course the Committee’s longest standing member. He is absolutely right that the Rwanda policy came about towards the very end of our deliberations on the issue. He is also right, as I think I said in my speech, that we have not yet come to a conclusion on the Rwanda policy. What we are very clear about, however, is that the evidence for the Rwanda policy has not been forthcoming. We have asked the Home Office to provide modelling and cost estimates, but we have not had any of that. He is absolutely right that we need to wait and see. I quoted the figures to see what has been happening in the past few weeks and months, and at the moment—I understand what he is saying—it does not look as though the policy is having that deterrent effect. I am very willing to concede that. I think the main point we were making was really that the policymaking was poor in this regard.

On the hon. Member’s second point, about pilots undertaken on French soil to determine asylum claims there, the Committee absolutely thinks that would be a good way forward; to test out that model, get the evidence and see whether it would work. Of course, that is dependent on the French agreeing to it. Like the hon. Member, we think that is a conversation that should be had with the French.