Asylum System — 1 Feb 2001

I beg to move,

That this House condemns the Government's failure to deal with the total chaos in the asylum system, which is detrimental to the interests of genuine refugees and the people of the United Kingdom; notes the failure of the Government's measures introduced under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999; further notes that the number of asylum applications made in 2000 reached the record level of 76,040, and that the proportion of unfounded claims increased to 78 per cent of all applications; notes with concern the continuing backlog of asylum applications and undetermined applications for British citizenship; and calls on the Government to take action to put in place measures which would both deter unwarranted claims and assist genuine refugees.

The Guardian --no friend to the Opposition--reported on asylum barons in May 2000. They were growing rich on providing substandard accommodation for the Government's dispersal programme. [Interruption.] Apparently, substandard accommodation for the dispersal programme is of amusement to Labour Members. When they talk about genuine refugees in future, we shall remember that they laughed about a report that some people were growing rich at the expense of others.

Guy Goodwin-Gill, professor of international refugee law at Oxford university, said that if all new asylum seekers--

I beg to move, To leave out from "House" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:

"reaffirms the obligations of the United Kingdom under the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees to provide asylum for those fleeing from a well-founded fear of persecution; approves the Government's strategy for reform of the asylum system and welcomes the practical improvements which have already been delivered, including substantial additional investment to provide the Immigration and Nationality Directorate with the staff and other resources essential to operate an efficient and humane asylum system; congratulates the Immigration and Nationality Directorate staff on their recent achievements including taking 110,000 initial asylum decisions in 2000; welcomes the effect which the provisions of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and other measures have had in reducing unfounded asylum claims; welcomes the successful introduction of a coherent, national system of support for asylum seekers to replace the chaotic arrangements created by the previous Government which imposed an intolerable burden on local authorities in London and the South-East; notes that the civil penalty, a measure which was opposed by the Official Opposition, has successfully encouraged hauliers and ferry operators to introduce additional security measures to tackle clandestine and illegal entry to the United Kingdom; welcomes the Government's expansion of detention capacity to support substantial increases in the number of asylum seekers with unfounded claims who are removed from the UK; and supports the Government's commitment to working closely with other countries to deal more effectively with asylum pressures affecting the whole of Europe."

the specifications of the NASS system represent an improvement on the situation to date.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:--

The House divided: Ayes 126, Noes 304.

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con0 125 (+2 tell)079.4%
Lab276 (+2 tell) 0066.7%
LDem28 0059.6%
PC2 0050.0%
UUP0 1011.1%
Total:306 126068.4%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

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no rebellions

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