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Results 1–20 of 2000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Dominic Raab

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: I thank my right hon. Friend for her question. We have FCO staff in all our 280 posts in 168 countries and 10 overseas territories, and they are working round the clock to respond to this global pandemic. Over the last three days, we have seen 80 countries place restrictions on their borders. That situation is unprecedented in scale, and our overriding priority now is to assist the thousands...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: I thank my right hon. Friend for her question. In relation to embassies, she said that they have been closed, but actually, a very small number of posts have had to be closed. What we have found—this is not a choice that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has made; it is a direct result of the restrictions that have been put in place by Governments in those countries—is that they have...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: The hon. Gentleman makes some important points, and we certainly want to give as much reassurance and as much advice as possible, but he will know—he has worked on the international brief for a while—that we have in this country a great tradition of travelling abroad, and that even if we take expats out of the equation we are talking about hundreds of thousands of people at any one time....

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: I am happy to say that we work with all our partners across the world; we would not allow dogma to get in the way of securing the rights of British nationals. I am proud that we have that flexibility and I am grateful to the Cuban Foreign Minister for arranging it. We also had close to 3,000 British nationals on the Azura, docked in Bridgetown, and they arrived back in the UK over the weekend...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: I thank my right hon. Friend for that. He is absolutely right in what he says. I can reassure him that every one of our networks takes this incredibly seriously. The ambassadors and high commissioners are apprised of their leadership role in securing the return of UK nationals or otherwise protecting them as best we can. I say honestly to the House that there has been a challenge because of...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: The first thing to say is that we have all had constituents contact us to say that they feel vulnerable or are stranded, and I think we all understand how anxious people are in that situation. The No. 1 thing we want to do is provide some certainty. That starts with the point of contact, which is why I mentioned the call centre. It also relates to the missions. There have been some mistaken,...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: We are providing support right across the board. If there are key workers abroad, that just highlights the imperative of getting people back. I have to say to my hon. Friend that we are prioritising the most vulnerable, but where we can get commercial flights out of those jurisdictions, we are looking to have enough capacity to get all of them out. I hope that that provides him and his...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: I am very concerned about the situation in Bali. The embassy office in Bali is open and has been reinforced from Jakarta. The consular team is in direct contact with UK nationals there. Flight options have obviously been curtailed in the way the hon. Member described. The Emirates route is closed, but operational routes are still available via Jakarta. There are something like 6,000 British...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: I thank my hon. Friend and give him this reassurance. There are only three posts that we have drawn down in their entirety: Wuhan and Chongqing in China, which are subsidiary posts, so they can be backed up from Beijing; N’Djamena in Chad; and Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. That was done as a last resort, thinking about the situation there. We are ensuring that, in those...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: We are regularly talking to European Governments and I am speaking to my opposite numbers in Europe and across the world on a regular basis. I will look into the case of the Dominican Republic. Of course, it is less well travelled than some of the other routes, which is part of the challenge, but that just means we need to redouble our efforts. The right hon. Gentleman rightly raised the fact...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: I thank my hon. Friend for paying tribute to consular staff and FCO teams, and the work that they are doing, and for the general points that she has made. I can reassure her that embassies are being kept open wherever possible in order to give British nationals who find themselves stranded or in a vulnerable position the support that they need, even if they cannot physically access the...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: Yes. Cusco is a very good example of the challenge in Peru, but we believe that we have the capacity. We have the political agreement of the Government in Peru; we just need to ensure that the military, who run the airport, deliver on that. In Cusco and elsewhere across Peru, 1,000 UK nationals have registered with the embassy to ensure that we are in contact with them. This is a logistical...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: I thank my hon. Friend for his comments. I have addressed the situation in New Zealand at some length. We are of course looking at that as a matter of urgency. The big thing for getting people back from Australia and New Zealand is going to be the international hubs; I hope that he has been reassured by the reassurances that I secured from the Singaporean Foreign Minister first thing this...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: I do understand the situation in which people find themselves: they planned to be abroad for a certain period of time and have run out of cash. Given the scale, the Foreign Office cannot provide a direct subsidy or grant. Our priority is to try to ensure that people can get back home and, in extremis, if they have run out of money, we are willing to offer temporary loans to facilitate that...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: I thank my right hon. Friend for his question. I think that I have described the latest data that I have, but, of course, we are tracking the cruise ship in real time. It has been a challenge on that bit of coastline and, indeed, in that region, to get onward flights and to get permission to dock in order to take advantage of them. None the less, we are tracking the situation. I track the...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: The hon. Lady can certainly help in that regard, because I can give her the special email address that the embassy has set up to make sure that all those who need to register for flights can do so. I do not think that the situation is quite as dire as she suggests; 1,000 British nationals have already registered, but flights are limited. We are working to make sure that we have enough flights...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: Yes, I certainly will take on board all of those concerns. I have updated the House on what we are doing in relation to Bali. Flight options are still available, but they are decreasing hour by hour, and we are working not just with the Government and the transit hubs but with the airlines to try to keep as many options available as possible. Of course, in a case such as the one my hon....

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: I thank the hon. Lady and greatly appreciate the way in which she approached her question. Junior Ministers, and I as Foreign Secretary, are always available to provide as much detail as possible. We can always be contacted via our Parliamentary Private Secretaries. We are aware of the particular situation with the St Andrews group and we are in touch with the university about them. We have...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: I thank my right hon. Friend for his question and for his championing of his constituents, particularly when they are in a vulnerable situation. It is important to pay tribute to the incredible work the consular teams are doing. We are doing everything we can to reinforce them in terms of manpower and resources, from call centres to posts, and they are doing an incredible job. It is not just...

British Citizens Abroad: FCO Help to Return Home (24 Mar 2020)

Dominic Raab: In general, nothing in the transition period regime is hampering the repatriation effort. Indeed, the hon. Gentleman is right to say that, given the number of Brits in European countries, we also have more airline capacity coming back. It is probably easier to pick up the phone to some of our European colleagues, who we know very well. The key thing is the bilateral dialogue: the calls I am...


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