Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2019-21 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Dawn Butler
(Brent Central)
Asked on: 20 April 2020
Home Office
Detention Centres: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the feasibility of releasing detainees from immigration detention centres to (a) prevent and (b) contain the transmission of covid-19 in those centres.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

The safety and health of those in immigration removal centres is of the utmost importance but we remain committed to removing foreign national offenders or those who violate our immigration rules. Detention plays a key role in securing our borders and maintaining effective immigration control.

Decisions to detain an individual are made on a case by case basis and are based on all of the information known at the time of the review. As circumstances of the case change, detention is reviewed in light of these changes and release may then become appropriate.

The Home Office is following all Public Health England guidance and have robust contingency plans in place including measures such as protective isolation to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the immigration detention estate. Further measures including shielding, single occupancy rooms and the cessation of social visits have been introduced in line with the Government direction on social distancing.

There are currently no cases of Covid-19 in the immigration detention estate.

Q
(Huddersfield)
Asked on: 20 April 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that asylum seeker accommodation adheres to social distancing measures introduced during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

The Home Office has been working with a Public Health England embed during the current crisis and we have put in place a number of measures to support people in the asylum system who are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, including working closely with providers to make sure the most vulnerable people within the system receive the support they need. There are currently no cases of Covid-19 in the immigration detention estate

Q
Asked by Tracey Crouch
(Chatham and Aylesford)
Asked on: 20 April 2020
Home Office
Undocumented Migrants: English Channel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has for the deportation of illegal migrants who have crossed the English Channel to enter the UK during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

It is the policy of this Government to return those not in need of protection.

The majority of countries who are signatories to the Dublin Regulations which governs the return of those seeking asylum in the UK to a third country have announced temporary suspension of transfers to and from all EU Member States due to the Corona virus.

Returns to third-countries can still take place where there is a suitable route of return.

We are ready to resume Dublin returns as soon as travel restrictions are lifted

Q
Asked by Tracey Crouch
(Chatham and Aylesford)
Asked on: 20 April 2020
Home Office
Undocumented Migrants: English Channel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether illegal migrants who have crossed the English Channel to enter the UK are being tested for covid-19; and how many illegal migrants have been so tested since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

The processes to manage clandestine arrivals are kept under regular review. In line with Public Health Guidance we are not currently providing routine testing for clandestine arrivals to the UK. In line with established processes, those arriving across the Channel are immediately assessed to establish whether there are any medical requirements. Those showing symptoms of COVID-19 are provided with suitable accommodation in which to self-isolate. There are currently no cases of Covid-19 in the immigration detention estate.

Q
(Tewkesbury)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 April 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Applications
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people are waiting for a decision on their asylum application as at 20 April 2020.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

The Home Office publishes data on asylum applications awaiting a decision in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of people who are awaiting a decision on their asylum application are published in the asylum applications awaiting a decision data table in Asy_D03 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets.

The latest data is as at December 31st 2019 and an update, covering data up to the end of March 2020, is due to be released on 21st May 2020 as part of the Immigration Statistics Quarterly release.

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Q
(Edinburgh West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 April 2020
Home Office
Detention Centres: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that all people in immigration removal centres have access to soap and sanitiser during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

The safety and health of people in the detention estate is of the utmost importance. The Home Office is following all Public Health England guidance on coronavirus and have robust contingency plans in place, including measures such as protective isolation and use of personal protective equipment.

Handwashing facilities are available in all immigration removal centres and we are working closely with suppliers to ensure we have a continuous supply of soap and cleaning materials. In addition, each centre has posters and leaflets to inform detainees about the importance of handwashing and social distancing to minimise the risk from Covid-19. Detainees are also able to speak to staff directly for advice on the measures in place.

The Home Office is working closely with NHS England health and justice teams and regional commissioning teams to support their planning and delivery of healthcare services in immigration removal centres during the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes testing.

On 26 March, the High Court ruled that our approach to detention and Coronavirus was sensible, with the appropriate precautionary measures in place.

There are currently no cases of Covid-19 in the immigration detention estate.

Grouped Questions: 37982
Q
(Edinburgh West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 April 2020
Home Office
Detention Centres: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is on testing (a) staff and (b) detainees in immigration removal centres for covid-19.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

The safety and health of people in the detention estate is of the utmost importance. The Home Office is following all Public Health England guidance on coronavirus and have robust contingency plans in place, including measures such as protective isolation and use of personal protective equipment.

Handwashing facilities are available in all immigration removal centres and we are working closely with suppliers to ensure we have a continuous supply of soap and cleaning materials. In addition, each centre has posters and leaflets to inform detainees about the importance of handwashing and social distancing to minimise the risk from Covid-19. Detainees are also able to speak to staff directly for advice on the measures in place.

The Home Office is working closely with NHS England health and justice teams and regional commissioning teams to support their planning and delivery of healthcare services in immigration removal centres during the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes testing.

On 26 March, the High Court ruled that our approach to detention and Coronavirus was sensible, with the appropriate precautionary measures in place.

There are currently no cases of Covid-19 in the immigration detention estate.

Grouped Questions: 37981
Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 21 April 2020
Home Office
Refugees: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to bring to the UK child refugees that have been granted permission to join their families following the cancellation of their flights as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

The UK remains fully committed to meeting our obligations under the Dublin III Regulation. The Regulation makes it very clear that once a take charge request has been accepted for an unaccompanied child, the transfer is the responsibility of the requesting State.

Despite covid-19 restrictions the UK remains ready to accept transfers under Dublin whenever Member States are in a position to make those arrangements. We are continuing to liaise with our counterparts in Member States on what actions can be taken during this period and to effect transfers as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.

Q
(Torfaen)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 April 2020
Home Office
Airports: Travel Requirements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps have been taken by Border Force to ensure that people returning to the UK from abroad are aware of the latest Government guidelines on covid-19.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

The health response at ports is a cross-government responsibility as is the work to protect critical supply chains. Border Force are working closely with DHSC, PHE, Devolved Administrations, port operators and carriers to ensure arriving passengers have access to the latest advice on arrival.

Q
(Torfaen)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 April 2020
Home Office
Aviation: Disease Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps Border Force officials are taking to establish whether social distancing is taking place on aircraft arriving in the UK.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

The health response at ports is a cross-government responsibility as is the work to protect critical supply chains. While Border Force are working closely with PHE, DHSC, DfT, Devolved Administrations, port operators and carriers to ensure arriving passengers have access to the latest PHE and government advice on arrival. The safety of passengers, including implementing any social distancing measures while on an aircraft, is the responsibility of the carrier.

Q
(Exeter)
Asked on: 27 April 2020
Home Office
Travel: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the evidential basis is for the Government's decision to impose a 14 day quarantine for people arriving in the UK; and what assessment she has made of the compatibility of that decision with WHO advice.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

In order to keep overall levels of infection down, as the Government prepares for social contact to increase, a series of measures and restrictions will be introduced at the UK border. This will contribute to keeping the overall number of transmissions in the UK as low as possible.

The Government will require all international arrivals not on a short list of exemptions to self-isolate in their accommodation for fourteen days on arrival into the UK. Where international travellers are unable to demonstrate where they would self-isolate, they will be required to do so in accommodation arranged by the Government.

Further details, and guidance on measures including screening, will be set out shortly, and the measures and list of exemptions will be kept under regular review.

Q
(Cardiff South and Penarth)
Asked on: 29 April 2020
Home Office
Protective Clothing: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) masks, (b) visors, (c) pairs of gloves and (d) other items of personal protective equipment were provided to (i) UK Border Force and (ii) UK Visas and Immigration staff for use in preventing the spread of covid-19 in each week since 1 January 2020.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

Detailed Border Force record keeping commenced from 12th February when Public Health England (PHE) guidance for First Responders changed. Over 850,000 individual items of PPE have been provided to Border Force officers.

Border Force have also supplied a significant number of additional protective items/measures such as hand sanitizer & wipes which is not classed as PPE.

Since 1st March 2020 over 44,000 individual items of PPE have been provided to UKVI staff in customer facing roles along with thousands of protective measures such as hand sanitiser/antibacterial wipes. UKVI also currently have over 22,000 individual items of PPE on order.

Q
Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Home Office: Staff
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Home Office officials who have been charged with criminal offences in connection with their public duties are awaiting trial.
Answered on: 26 May 2020

At present there is one former employee who is currently awaiting trial.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 06 May 2020
Home Office
Immigration Controls: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask Secretary of State for the Home Office, what border controls will be put in place to restrict transmission of covid-19 as other countries begin to ease lockdown measures.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

In order to keep overall levels of infection down, as the Government prepares for social contact to increase, a series of measures and restrictions will be introduced at the UK border. This will contribute to keeping the overall number of transmissions in the UK as low as possible.

The Government will require all international arrivals not on a short list of exemptions to self-isolate in their accommodation for fourteen days on arrival into the UK. Where international travellers are unable to demonstrate where they would self-isolate, they will be required to do so in accommodation arranged by the Government.

Further details, and guidance on measures including screening, will be set out shortly, and the measures and list of exemptions will be kept under regular review.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking with the Department for Education to ensure that the required (a) equipment and (b) technology to participate in school work is provided to asylum-seeking families with children living in National Asylum Support Service supplied accommodation during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

The children of asylum seekers have access to the same educational services as all other children living in the UK.

The government has committed over £100 million to support remote education. We are providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access. This specifically includes: children in Year 10 who are preparing for examination; children receiving support from a social worker, including pre-school children; or care leavers.

In addition, where individuals in these groups do not have internet connections, we will be providing them 4G wireless routers to ensure they can learn at home.

Q
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Police Custody: Solicitors
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place to ensure that individuals who are arrested and questioned by the police have access to solicitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, and can access them in a way that conforms to social-distancing measures.
Answered on: 26 May 2020

The Home Office are in regular contact with the National Police Chiefs' Counsel (NPCC) and other key stakeholders regarding custody related matters.

The NPCC have circulated guidance for all police forces in order for them to safely manage their custody suites with respect to their detainees, staff and visitors. The CPS has also published a temporary interview protocol which clearly sets out the situations where interviews should be prioritised and encourages solicitors to access interviews via video or telephone.

Police have guidance on the use of PPE and should make PPE available to essential visitors to the custody suite.

Q
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Fixed Penalties: Coronavirus
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many fixed penalty notices have been issued under powers granted by orders made under the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Answered on: 26 May 2020

Data on the number of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued under the new emergency COVID-19 health regulations, are published by the NPCC on a fortnightly basis and can be found on the National Police Chiefs' Council website.

The NPCC release provides information about FPNs issued by police forces in England and Wales, the British Transport Police and the Ministry of Defence Police.

Policing is a devolved matter and FPNs issued by Police Scotland and Police Service Northern Ireland are reported separately by the respective forces.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 13 May 2020
Home Office
Offenders: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Office, whether the deportation of foreign-born convicted criminals has been suspended as a result of the covid-19 pandemic; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

No, removals of foreign national offenders are still taking place where routes are available, and Immigration Enforcement are following the latest guidance from Public Health England.

Asked on: 13 May 2020
Home Office
Deportation: Pakistan
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to deport Abdul Aziz, Adil Khan and Qari Abdul Rauf.
Answered on: 26 May 2020

I am aware of the cases referred to, but I am unable to comment on individual cases.

The crimes committed by child sexual exploitation gangs, such as those in Rochdale, who prey on the young and vulnerable are appalling. I have every sympathy with their victims.

We are clear that foreign criminals should be deported from the UK wherever it is legal and practical to do so.

Foreign national offenders should be in no doubt of our determination to remove them, and since 2010 we have removed more than 52,000.

Q
(Lewisham, Deptford)
Asked on: 15 May 2020
Home Office
Refugees: Greek Islands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps her Department has taken to facilitate the resettlement of unaccompanied refugee minors from the Greek islands.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

Protecting vulnerable children remains a key priority of this Government and we have a proud record of doing so through our asylum system and our resettlement schemes.

The UK remains fully committed to meeting its obligations under the Dublin III Regulation, and unaccompanied children can continue to transfer to the UK from Greece under Dublin. The Regulation makes it clear that once a take charge request has been accepted for an unaccompanied child, the transfer is the responsibility of the requesting State. Despite covid-19 restrictions, the UK is ready to accept transfers under Dublin whenever Member States are in a position to make those arrangements. We recently worked closely with Greece to complete the transfer of vulnerable people, including unaccompanied children, on 11 May who were united with family members in the UK. We continue to liaise with our counterparts in Member States on what actions can be taken during this period and to effect transfers as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.

The Home Office publishes data on the Dublin III Regulation on an annual basis (each February) in the Immigration Statistics. This includes data on the number of requests to transfer into and out of the UK and the number acceptances and transfers into and out of, broken down by article and Member State requesting. The latest data, covering up to 2019, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#dublin-regulation

Instructions on how to use the data can be found in the ‘Notes’ sheet.

The Government remains committed to relocating the specified number of 480 unaccompanied children from Europe to the UK under Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (‘the Dubs amendment’). Over 220 children were transferred to the UK under section 67 when the Calais camp was cleared in late 2016. Since then we have continued to make further progress with participating States including Greece, to move closer to achieving this commitment and we will publish the current number of transfers under section 67 on 21 May 2020 along with the publication of the quarterly immigration statistics.

Grouped Questions: 47370
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