Illegal Migration Act: Northern Ireland Debate

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Illegal Migration Act: Northern Ireland

Theresa Villiers Excerpts
Tuesday 14th May 2024

(1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Tom Pursglove Portrait Tom Pursglove
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The hon. Gentleman keeps chuntering from a sedentary position, but the fact is that we take appropriate cohort-related decisions. The message must be very clear that people should not be coming to the United Kingdom via perilous journeys on small boats. That is not an acceptable position to be advocating. We will not advocate that position, and will continue to take steps to address it. The message should go out very clearly to anyone thinking of getting in a small boat: don’t do it.

Theresa Villiers Portrait Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet) (Con)
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Many in Northern Ireland will want to understand the practical implications of this court case. If, as some expect, it means that Northern Ireland has become a more attractive place for someone who has arrived in Britain on a small boat, what are the Government doing to investigate, plan for and manage that, and to ensure that it does not have cost implications for the Northern Ireland Executive or local authorities in Northern Ireland?

Tom Pursglove Portrait Tom Pursglove
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What I can say to my right hon. Friend, who, of course, takes a real interest in all matters Northern Ireland, is that we are operationalising the Rwanda policy on a UK-wide basis. The legal foundation for that is the Nationality and Borders Act. As I said earlier, there is no benefit to anybody who thinks that going to Northern Ireland will lead to their not being in scope for relocation to Rwanda. That is not the case. The position is clear, and we are getting on and operationalising the policy using the legal footing that is already available to us.