Results 81–100 of 1477 for speaker:Nick Thomas-Symonds

Salisbury Incident 2018: Update (21 Sep 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: I am grateful to the Home Secretary for her statement and for giving me advance sight of it. I am also grateful to the Minister for Security and Borders, the right hon. Member for East Hampshire (Damian Hinds), for the advance briefing yesterday. The use of a nerve agent, a chemical weapon, on British soil was an outrage and we unite across the House in our condemnation of it. We also unite...

Afghanistan Policy (13 Sep 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: I thank the Minister for her statement, and for advance sight of it. I also thank her for the briefing that was given to me by her and the Security Minister, and I welcome her to the Dispatch Box. However, given this vital work of leading on the Afghanistan resettlement scheme, I must ask: where is the Home Secretary? We hear that it is the Minister for the Cabinet Office who chairs the...

Nationality and Borders Bill: [1st Allocated Day] (19 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: I beg to move, That this House declines to give a Second Reading to the Nationality and Borders Bill, notwithstanding the need to address the increasing number of dangerous boat crossings in the English Channel, because the Bill breaches the 1951 Refugee Convention, does not address the Government’s failure since 2010 to competently process asylum applications which has resulted in a...

Nationality and Borders Bill: [1st Allocated Day] (19 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. In reality, this is a Bill based on an immigration plan that is harmful. Just listen to the story of Waheed Arian, now an NHS doctor who escaped the Taliban in Afghanistan as a child. These are his words: “When I arrived alone in London, a bewildered 15-year-old with nothing to my name but $100 and my hopes and dreams, I had no idea I’d end up two...

Nationality and Borders Bill: [1st Allocated Day] (19 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: With the greatest respect, if the hon. Gentleman had listened to me, he would realise they were not my words I was quoting—it was Waheed Arian himself I was quoting. The Government say that the asylum system is broken. I totally agree. And it is the Conservative Government who have broken it over the past 11 years. Under this Conservative Government, the asylum processing system has...

Nationality and Borders Bill: [1st Allocated Day] (19 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: If the hon. Member wants to hear about statistics, try these: the share of applications that received an initial decision within six months fell from 87% in 2014 to 20% in 2019. That is the scale of the failure of this Government. At the end of March 2021, over 66,000 were waiting for an outcome on their initial claim. Seventy-five per cent. of them—over 50,000—have been waiting over six...

Nationality and Borders Bill: [1st Allocated Day] (19 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: I will come to that point in a moment because I have deep concerns about that. The right hon. Lady passed, as has already been pointed out, the legislation on modern slavery, but it is also the case that victims often feel too traumatised to talk about their experience at an early stage, so this idea of giving such minimal weight to later evidence I find very concerning, particularly in the...

Nationality and Borders Bill: [1st Allocated Day] (19 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: With great respect to the right hon. Lady, she was making the point about late filing of evidence, and I was making the point in response—I will come on to it in a moment, and I am quite happy to give way to her again when I do—that the way this Bill is framed, in terms of the direction to give very little weight to late evidence, is very concerning with respect to victims who are unable...

Nationality and Borders Bill: [1st Allocated Day] (19 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: My right hon. Friend is absolutely right to raise that. Unfortunately, I have had no such indication beyond leaks to the media, a fact which will probably not surprise him. Last month, the High Court judgment on Napier barracks found inadequate health and safety conditions and a failure to screen victims of trafficking and other vulnerabilities. The Home Office continued to house people...

Nationality and Borders Bill: [1st Allocated Day] (19 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: The hon. Gentleman says that that is disgusting, but it is what is in the Bill. I suggest he takes it up with the Home Secretary. The Bill is wrong, it benefits nobody and it sends out the worst possible signal about the Government’s intentions. Let me turn now to what the Government should be doing instead. First, we need legally binding targets for clearing asylum cases and proper...

Nationality and Borders Bill: [1st Allocated Day] (19 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: The Bill is wrong and it will not solve the problem. Let me just continue with the critique. The Government—

Nationality and Borders Bill: [1st Allocated Day] (19 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: No, I have already given way to the hon. Lady. The Government should seek to rebuild the system so that it is fair. Quick, effective decision making is in the best interests of everyone, and Ministers should be legislating for legally binding targets for processing asylum cases. We need a proper plan to deliver deals with international partners to tackle gangs, because the measures outlined...

Nationality and Borders Bill: [1st Allocated Day] (19 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: I suggest that the hon. Gentleman reads clause 48 of the Bill, because he will discover in it a higher bar for people receiving support as victims of human trafficking. That is despite the fact that recent reports show that four out of five rejected trafficking claims are overturned on appeal. These reforms risk leaving greater numbers of victims without support and more gangmasters free to...

Nationality and Borders Bill: [1st Allocated Day] (19 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: Well, we will see how proud their record is in a moment when we go through it. Let me just say to the shadow Minister for Immigration Compliance—

Nationality and Borders Bill: [1st Allocated Day] (19 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: I certainly stand corrected on that. The point is that there were local authorities that were willing to step up and help beyond that 480 and it was this Government’s absolute failure—[Interruption.] Including my local authority, yes, and I am very proud—

Nationality and Borders Bill: [1st Allocated Day] (19 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: Absolute utter nonsense. I have visited the Syrian refugees in Torfaen, so I hope the Minister will take that comment back because it is utter nonsense. The Government often talk about the Syrian vulnerable persons resettlement scheme—I just heard it from the Minister—and I of course pay tribute to local government, including my own local authority of Torfaen, for stepping up to help to...

Nationality and Borders Bill: [1st Allocated Day] (19 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: The Home Secretary shakes her head, but in the 2019 report “Responding to irregular migration: A diplomatic route” the Foreign Affairs Committee warned of exactly that: “A policy that focuses exclusively on closing borders will drive migrants to take more dangerous routes, and push them into the hands of criminal groups.” The Home Secretary should remember that because she was a...

Racist Abuse on Social Media (14 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: (Urgent Question) To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make a statement on the prevalence of racist abuse on social media.

Racist Abuse on Social Media (14 Jul 2021)

Nick Thomas-Symonds: I am grateful for that response, but the reaction of the Government has lacked urgency and completely failed to understand the scale of the revulsion that exists as a result of the events of recent days. The England men’s football players have been a credit to the country on and off the pitch. When they took the knee to stand against racism, that was not gesture politics. They spoke...


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