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

These debates have happened, including recently, during the passage of the 2022 Act, where a specific amendment was tabled to that effect. The hon. Member is right that we disagree on this issue. There is no permission to work unless—this is the caveat—someone’s asylum claim has been outstanding for 12 months or more through no fault of their own. He knows that about the system, but on his point, we do encourage asylum seekers awaiting the outcome of their claim to undertake volunteering activities, for example, so long as it does not amount to unpaid work or a job substitution.

I thank the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale for securing this debate; he is right that this is an important issue. We have debated many of these subjects either directly, in relation to the 2022 Act, or tangentially, in relation to the more recent Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill. None the less, they are important, and this short debate has given us the opportunity to exchange ideas and differing views. Perhaps ultimately, we can all agree that the aim should be for people who have been granted sanctuary in the United Kingdom to be led on a path to a happy and rewarding life here, because that is not only in their interests, but in all of our interests as well.

Question put and agreed to.

Sitting suspended.