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We will never turn our back on refugees

4 min read

As part of the New Plan for Immigration, refugees who are resettled to the UK will be given the stability to rebuild their lives through being granted indefinite leave to remain on arrival.

This week marks Refugee Week which shines a light on the all those who have enriched our communities since arriving in the UK. 

Thousands of refugees from every part of the world, are making enormous contributions to their local communities, to the culture and the UK’s economy. It’s undeniable that we are a much-enriched country for it. 

We have an incredibly proud track record, with tens of thousands of refugees rebuilding their lives in the UK, and behind each number, there is a human story to be told. 

A family was resettled by a community sponsor group, having fled from conflict in Syria. To help the family integrate into the UK, they were supported by the sponsor group to find school places, register with a GP, learn English and find employment. Just a few years later, the family are speaking fluent English, their children are in school and the parents are working and helping vulnerable people within their community. This one of many stories I could talk about where refugees have rebuilt their lives to make the UK their home.

The United Kingdom has a long, proud tradition of providing a home for people fleeing persecution and oppression. This spans decades. 

Think back to the Jewish people escaping Hitler in the 1930s and 40s. The Hungarians in the 1950s, fleeing the Soviets, Ugandans exiled in the 1970s, Bosnians fleeing war-ravaged former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. And more recently the victims of the Syrian conflict.  

We have a long-standing history of being open to the world, supporting those in need. And this, we will continue to do. 

The heart of our plan is built around a single tenet – to be fair, but firm

There’s a lot of misinformation and confusion out there.

In my role as Immigration Compliance Minister I’d like to set the record straight and dispel some of these myths and more importantly set out government plans on overhauling the immigration system for the better. 

It’s complete nonsense to accuse us of unleashing a ‘hostile environment’ on genuine refugees.

Government have been doing and continues to do some incredible work in giving refugees a new start in the UK through government-backed safe and legal routes, such as the UK Resettlement Scheme which launched in February 2021. 

Thousands of refugees have rebuilt their lives in the UK thanks to the generosity of the British people, and we should be proud of that. Since 2015, the UK has resettled more refugees than any other European country.

Under the New Plan for Immigration, we will continue to help those most in need.

As part of the plan refugees who are resettled to the UK will be given the stability to rebuild their lives through being granted indefinite leave to remain on arrival. 

We will continue to prioritise resettlement for refugees in need of protection, including children, in regions of conflict and instability, rather than those who are already in safe European countries. 

We will ensure more resettled refugees can enter the UK through community sponsorship, encouraging stronger partnerships between local government and community groups.  

Our refined resettlement approach will also be more responsive to emerging international crises, resettling refugees who are at urgent risk more quickly.  

Our proposals will also lessen the incentive for people to risk their lives crossing the Channel in small, unseaworthy boats. 

Alongside strengthened resettlement routes, this will break the deadly business model of people smuggling gangs who use illegal routes to hinder us from properly supporting those in genuine need of protection. We will fight to prevent illegal migration in all its forms.

The heart of our plan is built around a single tenet – to be fair, but firm. We must get the right balance and put the most vulnerable first and clamp down on those who would abuse our hospitality. 


Chris Philp is the Conservative MP for Croydon South and is the Immigration Compliance Minister.

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