Illegal Seaborne Migration Debate

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Department: Home Office

Illegal Seaborne Migration
Sir Edward Davey Excerpts
Tuesday 04th June 2019

(8 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Home Office
Caroline Nokes Portrait Caroline Nokes - Parliament Live - Hansard
4 Jun 2019, 4:50 p.m.

I reassure the hon. Gentleman that the Dubs scheme is not being wound down and that transfers continue. He will be aware that we have removed the date criteria, and we continue to work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on the best interest test to make sure that we can fulfil our commitment under the Dubs scheme.

The hon. Gentleman might also be aware that, at the end of May—I apologise for not having the precise date —we increased unaccompanied asylum-seeking children funding to £114 per child per night. We have worked tirelessly with the Local Government Association to encourage those who are not taking part in the national transfer scheme to do so, so that we can continue to make progress and fulfil our Dubs commitment.

Sir Edward Davey Portrait Sir Edward Davey (Kingston and Surbiton) (LD) - Parliament Live - Hansard
4 Jun 2019, 4:50 p.m.

It is good to hear the Minister accept that the best way to prevent refugees from taking these dangerous crossings is to provide safe, legal routes to sanctuary for those fleeing persecution. Going back to the Dubs amendment, the Government promised two years ago to provide a scheme for 480 unaccompanied refugee children. When will that promise be delivered?

Caroline Nokes Portrait Caroline Nokes - Parliament Live - Hansard
4 Jun 2019, 4:50 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman will be aware that, at the beginning of last year, we changed the qualifying date for Dubs children in an endeavour to make sure that we could meet the 480 commitment. We have now removed the qualifying date altogether so that any child who qualifies and meets the UNHCR best interest test can be transferred under the Dubs agreement.

The right hon. Gentleman will have just heard me say that we have increased funding to local authorities, and I continue to encourage individual Members to contact their local authorities to encourage them to work under the NTS to take additional unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

We have 4,500 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in this country, and it is important that we continue to work with our colleagues both in local government and in the wider community to make sure that we meet that commitment. I urge the right hon. Gentleman to talk to his local council to see whether it can add to the UAS children it already takes.