Asylum Seekers and Permission to Work

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:22 pm on 18th November 2020.

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Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 4:22 pm, 18th November 2020

I have to just finish, because there is very little time remaining. I hope that my hon. Friend will forgive me for concluding.

I also am concerned about the possibility of creating some measure of pull factor, because if people know that they are able to come here on, for example, a small boat or the back of a lorry, or on an aeroplane, without proper documentation and immediately, or very nearly immediately, start working, that will act as a further encouragement to come to the UK and add to the 35,000 asylum claims that we have already. Particularly in the case of people who are in safe countries such as France—pretty much all the small boat arrivals come from France—they are in a safe country where they could, if they wished, claim asylum.

I will just say that the shortage occupation list is rather wider than was represented. It does include nurses and medical practitioners. I commend that scheme to people with those skills who want to work.