Asylum Seekers: Right to Work

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:13 am on 24th October 2018.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration 11:13 am, 24th October 2018

I can point to evidence from Germany, where a change in policy saw a significant increase in the numbers arriving. Interestingly—the hon. Gentleman might be fascinated by this—that was a point that I removed from my speech. I am conscious that we are concerned about pull factors. We do not want anybody making risky or perilous journeys with the aim of an economic goal, as opposed to fleeing from persecution, but of course we recognise that they can be in a position where they cannot make a choice and have to make such a journey. I felt that the message given by that chunk of my speech was too harsh. We have a fantastic reputation in this country for being a safe haven for those in need, and I really want to build on that. However, I want to build on it through schemes such as VPRS, Mandate and Gateway. Various hon. Members here have heard me speak previously about ambitions to turn them into far more holistic and comprehensive schemes instead of what strikes me as a piecemeal approach.