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Ministers questioned on Channel crossings and Afghan resettlement scheme

17 November 2021

The Home Affairs Committee takes evidence on two inquiries: Channel crossings, migration and asylum-seeking routes through the EU and Afghanistan: safe routes and resettlement.

Witnesses

Wednesday 17 November

At 10.00 am

  • Tom Pursglove MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
  • Dan Hobbs, Director, Asylum, Protection and Enforcement, Home Office
  • Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander

At 11.00 am

  • Victoria Atkins MP, Minister for Afghan Resettlement
  • Emma Haddad, Director General, Asylum and Protection, Home Office
  • Catherine Frances, Director General, Local Government, Strategy and Analysis, DLUHC

In the first session, Home Office Minister for Tackling Illegal Migration, Tom Pursglove MP, will face questions on the rise in the numbers of people attempting to enter the UK by crossing the Channel in small boats.

It has been calculated that over 23,000 had entered the UK through this route in 2021, and up to 1,000 in a single day on 11 November. The Committee will seek an update on the official number of individuals crossing the Channel and the effectiveness of joint-working with French authorities.

The Committee will also question the Minister on the impact of proposals for new measures to combat Channel crossings, including ‘push-backs’ of boats outside of UK waters and a new criminal offence of arriving in the UK without clearance.

In the second session Minister for Afghan Resettlement, Victoria Atkins MP, will respond to questions on Government progress in establishing safe asylum routes from Afghanistan.

Following the withdrawal of allied forces and the Taliban assuming control of Afghanistan, the UK Government pledged to resettle 20,000 people at risk by establishing the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme.

This would be in addition to the existing Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy that supported current or former staff of the UK Government in Afghanistan.

The Committee will question the Minister on the Government’s progress in establishing the new resettlement scheme. It will also investigate the support given to those who have already arrived in the UK from Afghanistan, including the quality of accommodation and programmes to support integration.

The Committee will also examine what work has been carried out to aid individuals who may have fallen through the gaps during the evacuations and who may be at severe risk yet fall outside established categories of support.

Further information  

Image: Parliamentary copyright