Tier 5 Religious Worker Visas — [Mike Gapes in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:01 pm on 4th July 2019.

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Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Home Department 4:01 pm, 4th July 2019

I understand that point. I am just trying to set out the differences between the three different visa routes that exist, to try to help people come into the country to support religious communities.

I hope that I have set out—I do not feel I have agreement on it; clearly there is a vigorous debate and discussion to be had on this—why the Government have done what they have, and why we believe that we did consult on this matter in an appropriate way with impact assessments. If there is hard evidence of genuine problems, of course it is incumbent on the Government and Minister to listen. It is worth reflecting that since the changes that we have discussed were made in January 2019, like for like grants are actually up by 6%, so it is clear that the Government are not seeking to restrict the practice of faith in the UK, as has been suggested—wildly, in my view.

I thank the hon. Member for Glasgow East for securing this debate and for his continued interest in this vital element of life in the UK. The Government are entirely sincere in their commitment to continuing engagement on these sensitive matters.