People Granted Asylum: Government Support

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:17 am on 26 March 2024.

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Photo of Michael Tomlinson Michael Tomlinson Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration) 11:17, 26 March 2024

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his constructive point. He is right that co-ordination in this area is important, as it is in any area of Government business. That is why my point about the Home Office working closely with DLUHC is so important. Also, I just made a point about notifying local authorities within two working days, and that is part of the better working relationship that is needed. That is happening on the ground, but I take on board his point that that there need to be good working relationships between Departments.

I will briefly mention biometric residence permits, because they are important in obtaining onward support and allowing newly recognised refugees to integrate and establish themselves. It is right that there have been concerns about this, but a dedicated support function is in place, which will help to address any issues with the BRP process at speed and ensure that there are improvements right across the system. That perhaps also addresses the hon. Gentleman’s point.

The hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale closed with the important subject of the right to work. I disagree with him on the pull factors. Unrestricted access to employment could act as an incentive for more migrants to choose to come here illegally. Only last week, there was an exchange in the Chamber on this subject when we debated the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill. The provision about asylum seekers’ right to work was also debated during the Committee stage of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022, when an amendment was tabled to that effect. We do not want to encourage the pull factor of employment.