English Language Teaching: Refugees

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:13 pm on 24th October 2017.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis The Minister for Immigration 5:13 pm, 24th October 2017

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hollobone. I join others in congratulating my right hon. Friend Dame Caroline Spelman on securing the debate. I look forward to seeing her and, I think, some of her panel tomorrow for a further conversation about some of these issues. As always when listening to Members, hon. Friends and right hon. Friends around the Chamber, it has been interesting to hear not only the number of valuable points that have been made on this hugely important topic but that there has been almost—I say almost—a breakout of consensus around where we are. I will come back to why I said “almost” in just a moment.

I agree with much of what I have heard this afternoon. A number of hon. Members, including my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden, have commented on Dame Louise Casey’s work and the integration strategy, to which we will respond in due course. My experience of working with Dame Louise Casey in my previous roles at the Department for Communities and Local Government is that she is not only a force of nature but someone to be taken hugely seriously, with important points to raise. Her experience and how she has commented in her review on the things we have to look at raise the profile of the subject and make a powerful case. We will respond in due course.