Bishop of St Albans asks about safe and legal routes for those seeking asylum

The Bishop of St Albans asked a question concerning safe and legal routes for people seeking asylum in the UK, during a debate on the government’s migration policy and partnership with Rwanda on 20th December 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, in the recent Statements, and in the Prime Minister’s comment piece in the Telegraph, there was a stated commitment to create more safe and legal routes, but no information was given on the timeline or the proposed numbers, and there was no indication of the sorts vulnerabilities that have been identified. The Rwanda partnership is one among many deterrence policies, but the worry is that, in the absence of safe routes, it seems very unlikely that that will be sufficient. When will the Government bring forward plans and proposals for these additional safe and legal routes?

Lord Murray of Blidworth: As the Prime Minister has made clear, the initial priority for the Government is to prevent the continuation of dangerous journeys across the channel. It is the Government’s intention in due course to open fresh, safe and legal routes. However, for the present, we have in this country a significant number of people seeking refuge and asylum, and we need to process those claims. In the view of the Government it is simply not the case that further safe and legal routes at this stage would have any effect in reducing channel crossings.


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