Thank you for contacting me about asylum seekers and refugee resettlement.
The UK continues to be one of the world’s leading refugee resettlement states. As a country, we resettle more refugees than any other in Europe and are in the top five countries worldwide. Since 2015, the Government has resettled more than 25,000 vulnerable refugees in need of protection through our refugee resettlement schemes, with around half being children.
You mentioned that more needs to be done in this area and I agree. In the year ending March 2020, over 7,400 refugee family reunion visas were issued to partners and children of those previously granted asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK. This is 37 per cent more than in the previous year.
Furthermore, I understand your concerns and agree that when it is safe to do so the UK should recommence refugee resettlement. I welcome the fact that the Home Office is developing a detailed plan to do this, and is continuing to discuss such plans with international and domestic stakeholders.
It is important that this is not rushed as plans to restart resettlement are dependent on a number of factors. These include the lifting of restrictions imposed by governments of host refugee countries, local authority and central government capacity and the recovery of the asylum system from the impact of COVID-19. It is good news that the Government is taking action but I will continue to push Ministers to restart resettlement as soon as it is safe and practicable to do so.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP