Baroness Hamwee Portrait

Baroness Hamwee

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Immigration)

(since June 2017)
EU Justice Sub-Committee
2nd Jul 2019 - 23rd Apr 2020
Human Rights (Joint Committee)
19th Jul 2017 - 1st Jul 2019
Human Rights (Joint Committee)
16th Jul 2015 - 27th Apr 2017
Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee
16th May 2012 - 30th Mar 2015
Extradition Law
12th Jun 2014 - 25th Feb 2015
Procedure and Privileges Committee
25th Nov 2009 - 14th May 2014
Inquiries Act 2005 Committee
16th May 2013 - 26th Feb 2014
Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill [HL]
28th Oct 2013 - 16th Dec 2013
Adoption Legislation Committee
29th May 2012 - 26th Feb 2013
Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee
9th Jun 2010 - 15th May 2012
Leader's Group on Working Practices
27th Jul 2010 - 26th Apr 2011
Economic Affairs Committee
15th Dec 2008 - 8th Apr 2010
Procedure and Privileges Committee
9th Jun 1997 - 11th May 2001
House of Lords Offices Committee
22nd Nov 1994 - 7th May 1997
Refreshment Sub Committee
11th Nov 1991 - 3rd Nov 1994


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 5th July 2022
10:00
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 12th July 2022
10:00
Division Votes
Tuesday 7th June 2022
Immigration (Restrictions on Employment and Residential Accommodation) (Prescribed Requirements and Codes of Practice) and Licensing Act 2003 (Personal and Premises Licences) (Forms), etc., Regulations 2022
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 56 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 0 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 159 Noes - 95
Speeches
Thursday 23rd June 2022
Bill of Rights
My Lords, I wonder whether the Minister, whom I too welcome to his position, can unpack a sentence in yesterday’s …
Written Answers
Thursday 28th April 2022
Council Tax: Homes for Ukraine Scheme
To ask Her Majesty's Government what arrangements they have made to ensure (1) that council taxpayers entitled to the single …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Thursday 9th January 2020
Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill [HL] 2019-21
A bill to make provision for leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom to be granted to the …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Baroness Hamwee has voted in 336 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Baroness Hamwee Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(80 debate interactions)
Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Conservative)
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
(24 debate interactions)
Lord Rosser (Labour)
Shadow Spokesperson (Transport)
(19 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(291 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(61 debate contributions)
Scotland Office
(23 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Baroness Hamwee's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Hamwee, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Baroness Hamwee has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Baroness Hamwee has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Baroness Hamwee


A bill to make provision for leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom to be granted to the family members of refugees and of people granted humanitarian protection; and to provide for legal aid to be made available in such cases


Last Event - 1st Reading (Lords)
Thursday 9th January 2020
(Read Debate)

A Bill to make provision for the administration of the affairs of missing persons; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Tuesday 14th June 2016

Baroness Hamwee has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


40 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what arrangements they have made to ensure (1) that council taxpayers entitled to the single person discount who host refugees from Ukraine do not lose the entitlement, and (2) that local authorities are compensated for any consequent loss of income.

The Council Tax (Discount Disregards and Exempt Dwellings) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2022 were laid before Parliament on 11 April 2022 and provide that refugees with a Homes for Ukraine immigration visa must be disregarded when calculating their host’s entitlement to the single person discount. Protecting the host’s entitlement to a single person discount will not result in local authorities experiencing a loss of expected income.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in negotiations with the European Union, having regard to law enforcement and internal security, they have referred in the single governance framework to common values including the rule of law and human rights, and to the UK’s continued adherence to the European Convention on Human Rights; and if not, (1) why not, and (2) what assessment they have made of the impact on the outcome of negotiations regarding security matters.

There have been constructive negotiations on law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation. In round four of negotiations, for example, there were detailed technical exchanges on extradition, the UK’s relationship with Europol and the exchange of Passenger Name Record (PNR) information.

As set out in the UK Approach, an agreement in this area should include: arrangements that support data exchange for law enforcement purposes; operational cooperation between law enforcement authorities; and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. This cooperation should be underpinned by the importance that both parties attach to safeguarding human rights, the rule of law and high data protection standards.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to administer COVID-19 vaccinations in prisons and other places of custody.

Working together with our partners across the secure and detained estate, vaccinations in prisons and detention centres has begun - delivering to the top priority cohorts defined by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations, in line with the rest of the population. As set out in the United Kingdom COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan, Local Vaccination Services are co-ordinating and delivering vaccinations to people who are unable to attend a vaccination site, including prisons and other places of custody.

28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the current financial situation of self-employed people whose income in 2018/19 was over £50,000; and what plans they have, if any, to offer financial support to those people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government recognises that taxpayers have faced immense challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The design of the SEISS, including the £50,000 threshold for average trading profits, means it is targeted at those who most need it and who are most reliant on their self-employment income.

However, those with average trading profits above £50,000 may still be eligible for other elements of the substantial financial support provided by the Government. The SEISS continues to be just one element of a package of support for the self-employed which includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to use information from 2019/20 income tax returns to assess whether people previously disqualified from financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic should now be entitled to such support.

The practical issues that prevented the Government from being able to include the newly self-employed in 2019-20 in the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), namely that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) do not have access to their self-assessment returns in order to verify their eligibility, still remain.

The SEISS continues to be just one element of a substantial package of support for the self-employed. Those ineligible for the SEISS Grant Extension may still be eligible for other elements of the support available. The Universal Credit standard allowance has been temporarily increased for 2020-21 and the Minimum Income Floor relaxed for the duration of the crisis, so that where self-employed claimants' earnings have fallen significantly, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this, they may also have access to other elements of the package, including Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

21st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a person who is not present in the UK may make a claim for asylum before travelling to the UK; and if so, where in the (1) Immigration Rules, or (2) immigration policy, such provision is made.

While we sympathise with the many millions of people facing difficult situations around the world, there are no plans to introduce a provision in the Immigration Rules for someone to be allowed to travel to the UK to claim asylum.

Our current policy is clear we will not consider asylum claims made abroad and there is no provision in the Immigration Rules for someone to be allowed to travel to the UK to claim asylum.

We already welcome vulnerable people in need of protection to the UK through our resettlement schemes and are standing up specific new migration routes in response to the situation in Ukraine. These schemes have provided safe and legal routes for tens of thousands of people to start new lives in the UK.

The UK has a proud record of providing protection for people who need it, in accordance with our obligations under the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights and will continue this record.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a person may be granted a visa that cannot be cancelled for the purpose of coming to the UK to apply for asylum; and if so, in which paragraph of the Immigration Rules this provision is made.

While we sympathise with the many millions of people facing difficult situations around the world, there are no plans to introduce a provision in the Immigration Rules for someone to be allowed to travel to the UK to claim asylum.

Our current policy is clear we will not consider asylum claims made abroad and there is no provision in the Immigration Rules for someone to be allowed to travel to the UK to claim asylum.

We already welcome vulnerable people in need of protection to the UK through our resettlement schemes and are standing up specific new migration routes in response to the situation in Ukraine. These schemes have provided safe and legal routes for tens of thousands of people to start new lives in the UK.

The UK has a proud record of providing protection for people who need it, in accordance with our obligations under the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights and will continue this record.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether dual British-Afghan nationals (1) are, and (2) will be treated as if they are, British nationals, for the purposes of relocation from Afghanistan to the UK.

A British national will always be treated as such, irrespective of whether they hold nationality of a second country.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the commitment in their report The end-to-end rape review report on findings and actions, published on 18 June, that no victim will be left without a phone for more than 24 hours, whether this will be achieved by (1) providing a replacement phone, or (2) extracting the required information within that period; and, if the latter, what technology will be used to do so.

Our ambition is to ensure that victims receive their own phone back within 24 hours in the majority of cases. The provision of a replacement will be a safety net in cases where it is not possible to return a phone quickly to guarantee victims are not cut off from their support network.

The technology to extract data from mobile phones varies between police forces. As part of our commitments in the end-to-end rape review, we are working with forces to provide a package of new technology to allow police to examine more devices at the scene. This means a faster, safer and more sensitive service for victims

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Court of Appeal's judgment of 26 May against the Secretary of State on the immigration exemption clause in the Data Protection Act ([2021] EWCA Civ 800); and what steps they intend to take in response.

We will not be appealing and will comply with the court’s ruling.

We are currently considering the next steps in order to do this.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of (1) women, and (2) men, currently held in immigration removal centres are classed as ‘foreign criminals’ according to section 32 of the UK Borders Act 2007.

This Government puts the rights of the British public before those of criminals, and we are clear that foreign criminals should be deported from the UK wherever it is legal and practical to do so.

The Home Office publishes data on people in detention by gender, as at the last day of the quarter in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’, Immigration statistics quarterly release - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) published on the 25 February 2021, and is available from table Det_D02 of the Detention detailed datasets. Information on those held in immigration removal centres that are classed as ‘foreign criminals’ by gender, is not separately available in a reportable format.

We make every effort to ensure that a person’s removal by deportation coincides, as far as possible, with their release from prison on completion of sentence. Where an FNO refuses to cooperate with the removal or deportation process, they may be detained. Foreign national offenders held in detention have the option to apply to an independent immigration judge for bail at any point, irrespective of gender.

Since January 2019, we have returned 7,240 FNOs, and we make no apology for protecting the public.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to extend legislation relating to transparency in supply chains to businesses whose turnover is below the current threshold of £36 million; and what assessment they have made of the implications of such action for (1) compliance with the level playing field provisions of the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, and (2) good regulatory practice within the UK.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 (Transparency in Supply Chains) Regulations set out the amount of total turnover for the purposes of making a commercial organisation subject to the Act’s Transparency in Supply Chains Provisions. The Regulations set the turnover threshold for commercial organisations required to report at £36m.

Under section 4 of the Regulations, the Secretary of State is required to carry out a review of the Regulations every five years.

The Government published a review of the current turnover threshold as part of the Government response to the Transparency in Supply Chains consultation, published on 22 September 2020.The review concluded that the £36m threshold remains appropriate and proportionate and also noted that the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act did not advise lowering the existing threshold, and instead recommended that Government focus on improving compliance, quality of reporting and enforcement at the current threshold.

The new Government modern slavery registry, which is due to launch this year, will enable Government to more effectively drive compliance, as well as incentivising more transparent and detailed reporting, by providing a dedicated platform for investors, consumers and civil society to view and compare statements published under the Act.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to publish guidance on reasonable grounds for a late application to the EU Settlement Scheme; and if so, when.

In line with the Citizens’ Rights Agreements, the Government has made clear, where a person eligible for leave under the EU Settlement Scheme has reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline for applications by those resident in the UK by the end of the transition period, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

We will publish clear, non-exhaustive guidance in the near future on what constitutes reasonable grounds for missing the deadline. Yet our focus remains on communicating information about the scheme and helping people to apply within the deadline.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many places in immigration removal centres are (1) currently occupied, and (2) available; and what assessment they have made of the number of immigration removal centre places for (a) men, and (b) women, that will be required within their current planning period.

The immigration removal estate is kept under ongoing review to ensure that the Home Office has sufficient capacity, in the right places and that it provides value for money. We will maintain sufficient capacity to support the removal of those who abuse our hospitality by committing serious, violent and persistent crimes as well as those who do not comply with our immigration laws.

The Home Office publishes statistics on people in detention on the last day of each quarter in the Immigration statistics quarterly release - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)Data on people in detention under immigration powers are published in Table Det_03a of the ‘Detention summary tables - List of tables - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

The total operational capacity for the immigration removal centres (if all rooms and beds are in use) is 2462 and the current occupancy rate is 367 as of 3 March 2021.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the role of Detention Gatekeepers in immigration removal centres.

There are no plans to review the role of Detention Gatekeepers in immigration removal centres at this time.

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration annually inspects how the Government manages vulnerable persons in detention. Should recommendations be made around the efficacy of the Detention Gatekeeper, they will be considered in line with Governmental priorities.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what basis they are not extending the £55 fee discount for a UK work visa to five EU member states.

The UK has long standing arrangements in its legislation for the nationals of countries which have signed and ratified the 1961 Council of Europe’s Social Charter (CESC) to qualify for a fee reduction for visa applications to come to work in the UK.

It is only with the end of free movement this legal obligation is now relevant to those EU countries which have ratified the 1961 Council of Europe Charter. The reduction is therefore only available to nationals of countries which have ratified the 1961 Charter, whether or not those countries are EU countries.

The UK’s legal obligations in relation to this matter relate to the implementation of the Council of Europe treaty, and do not arise from the UK’s former relationship with the EU or the TCA.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for (1) the future use, and (2) the occupancy, of the former Hassockfield Detention Centre in Medomsley; and when these plans will be taken forward.

The immigration removal estate is kept under ongoing review to ensure that the Home Office has sufficient capacity, in the right places and that it provides value for money.

The Home Office has acquired the former Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in County Durham and will open it as an immigration removal centre for women by the autumn. Initial discussions with the planning authority have taken place and work has commenced at the site. An Equality Impact Assessment will be completed as part of this programme of work.

In order to meet operational needs and demands we will continue to operate the immigration removal estate in a flexible manner.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their agreement with the government of France to address migrant activity in the English Channel, agreed on 28 November, how many French officers will be patrolling the relevant beaches; how many prosecutions there were for people smuggling in 2020; of such prosecutions, how many were for people using small boats; and what is the financial contribution by (1) the UK, and (2) France, for the implementation of that agreement.

The UK recently agreed a figure of £28.1m with the French Government on 28 November 2020, to address migrant activity in the English Channel. We are unable to comment on French financial contributions for the implementation of this agreement.

This funding supports a range of activity, including the continued deployment of French reservists from the Gendarmerie, which has doubled from December 1 2020, and Police Nationale. As this resource directly impacts sensitive, live, operational activity, we cannot disclose the precise number of French officers from either agency, or the locations that they patrol.

In 2020, 57 individuals were prosecuted for people smuggling offenses; 8 of which were related to small boat crossings of the English Channel.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to vary the provisions of the EU Settled Status Scheme to enable students who are (1) registered for courses in the UK to apply for pre-settled status, and (2) unable to provide proof of residence in the UK before 31 December 2020 because of public health restrictions.

In line with the Citizens’ Rights Agreements, the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 remains the point by which EU citizens need to be resident in the UK to be eligible in their own right for the EU Settlement Scheme.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
13th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the debate on Port Examination Codes of Practice and National Security Determinations Guidance Regulations 2020 on 10 July (HL Deb, cols 1327–46) (1) what assessment they have made of the report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons, UK Border Force short-term holding facilities, published on 24 June, and (2) what discussions they have had with the College of Policing regarding training and accreditation for officers applying the Code of Practice, with particular regard to racial profiling.

(1) We recognise the need for improvement in some facilities and there is an ongoing programme of work to ensure all sites used for detention are appropriately equipped and that the facilities are suitable to allow for the welfare of detainees to be prioritised

(2) The new Schedule 7 and 3 Codes of Practice are both clear that selection of a person for examination must not be arbitrary or for discriminatory reasons and that protected characteristics (whether separately or together) are not to be used as criteria for selection except to the extent that they are used in association with considerations that relate to the threat from terrorism or hostile activity. The Home Office continues to work with the police to ensure that training and guidance for frontline officers reflects the legal provision and important safeguards of these codes.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to the findings of the report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration Annual Inspection of 'Adults at Risk in Immigration Detention' (2018–19), published in April; and what actions they will make as a result of its findings.

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration Annual Inspection of 'Adults at Risk in Immigration Detention' (2018–19) and Home Office response were published on 29 April 2020 and can be found at the links below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/annual-inspection-of-adults-at-risk-in-immigration-detention-2018-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/response-to-the-annual-inspection-of-adults-at-risk-in-immigration-detention

As set out the Home Office has accepted, or partially accepted, seven of the ICIBI’s eight recommendations:

  • Continue to implement recommendations from previous related reports
  • Agree a cross-government strategy to reduce the detained population
  • Review Home Office guidance, processes and forms that relate to detention risk and vulnerability
  • Review where the authority not to detain/release should sit and at what grade
  • Produce an improvement plan for key stages of detention (prior to and during admission and once in detention)
  • Review the 2016 PES to accompany AAR guidance

Analyse the treatment and conditions of detainees and Foreign National Offenders detained in prison

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the acceptance of applications for settled status after the deadline of 30 June 2021, what are the proposed criteria for accepting those applications; what plans there are to consult with stakeholders on those criteria; and when those criteria will be published.

The Government has made clear, where a person eligible for leave under the EU Settlement Scheme has reasonable grounds for missing the application deadline of 30 June 2021, they will be given a further opportunity to apply. Our compassionate and flexible approach will ensure individuals who miss the deadline through no fault of their own can still obtain lawful status in the UK. We have not set out the criteria for what will constitute reasonable grounds for submitting an application after the deadline as we want to continue to encourage people to apply before 30 June 2021, whilst allowing the maximum possible flexibility when the situation arises. Examples will include children whose parent or guardian failed to apply on their behalf, people in abusive or controlling relationships who were prevented from applying, and those who lack the physical or mental capacity to apply. We will publish clear guidance for caseworkers in due course.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 22 June (HL5670), what assessment they have made of the likelihood of people travelling to the UK on a weekly basis being infected with COVID-19 compared to those travelling to the UK (1) fortnightly, or (2) frequently but irregularly; what assessment they have made of whether applying quarantine measures to people who travel to and from the UK for work purposes (a) fortnightly, or (b) frequently but irregularly, is in keeping with their approach that those who are unable to work from home and can return to work should do so; and why, with the exemption of weekly travellers, quarantine measures are applied to travellers with no threshold on the period of stay outside the UK.

The additional Health Measures at the Border introduced on 8 June aim to reduce the risk posed by imported cases of Covid-19 to the UK. A small number of groups are exempt from the self-isolation requirement, including those who live outside the UK but work in the UK and travel between their country of residence at least once a week. This exemption is based on the need to maintain peoples’ ability to attend their place of work, and not their infection status.

The exemption for those travelling at least once a week ensures that those who live in one country but are employed in another can continue to pursue their employment if they are unable to work from home and can return to work. Opening up this exemption to less frequent travellers risks opening this exemption to wider business-related travel for which it is not intended.

The self-isolation applies to all arrivals, rather than being based on the period of stay outside the UK as the virus has an incubation period where symptoms may not have yet developed.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) Regulations 2020, (1) why are people who travel to and from England regularly for work purposes, usually weekly, exempt, and people who travel fortnightly, or frequently but irregularly, not exempt, and (2) why the quarantine measures apply to most travellers without a threshold of the period of length of stay abroad. [T]

From 8 June, all passengers arriving in the UK without having travelled through another part of the Common Travel Area are required to self-isolate for 14 days, apart from those on a short list of exemptions. This particular exemption ensures those who travel to or from England on a weekly basis to pursue their employment are able to continue doing so, and is in keeping with the approach those who are unable to work from home and can return to work should do so. This is a different category of traveller to those who travel less frequently or even irregularly.

The self-isolation measures apply to all arrivals, as the scientific advice is, when domestic transmission of Covid-19 is reduced, new health measures at the border are an important part of managing the risk of new cases entering the UK from abroad and contributing to a second peak of the virus.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any additional guidance has been issued to Home Office immigration detention case workers on completing IS91RA risk assessments as a result of COVID-19.

The most recent guidance for staff operating in immigration removal centres (IRC) and residential short-term holding facilities (RSTHF) on the principles for managing COVID-19 in places of detention came into force on 5 May 2020 and has been published on Gov.UK. This guidance includes advice on the circumstances in which an IS91RA form should be completed and submitted to the Home Office.

Supplementary guidance on managing cases of individuals with COVID-19 comorbidities under the adults at risk in immigration detention policy (AAR) came into force on 20 March 2020. Under this policy, individuals suffering from one of the conditions set out in Public Health England guidance on COVID-19 are automatically regarded as falling within level 3 of the AAR. The policy was made available to Home Office staff and to contracted staff in immigration removal centres, and it has been published on Gov.UK.

As of 19 June, there are currently no cases of Covid-19 in immigration removal centres.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their current policy on classifying those with COVID-19 comorbidities under the Adults at Risk in Immigration Detention policy; and how that policy has been disseminated to (1) detainees, (2) stakeholders, (3) providers, and (4) caseworkers.

The most recent guidance for staff operating in immigration removal centres (IRC) and residential short-term holding facilities (RSTHF) on the principles for managing COVID-19 in places of detention came into force on 5 May 2020 and has been published on Gov.UK. This guidance includes advice on the circumstances in which an IS91RA form should be completed and submitted to the Home Office.

Supplementary guidance on managing cases of individuals with COVID-19 comorbidities under the adults at risk in immigration detention policy (AAR) came into force on 20 March 2020. Under this policy, individuals suffering from one of the conditions set out in Public Health England guidance on COVID-19 are automatically regarded as falling within level 3 of the AAR. The policy was made available to Home Office staff and to contracted staff in immigration removal centres, and it has been published on Gov.UK.

As of 19 June, there are currently no cases of Covid-19 in immigration removal centres.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a person at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to an underlying health condition will be automatically assessed as Level 3 under the Adults at Risk in Immigration Detention policy.

The most recent guidance for staff operating in immigration removal centres (IRC) and residential short-term holding facilities (RSTHF) on the principles for managing COVID-19 in places of detention came into force on 5 May 2020 and has been published on Gov.UK. This guidance includes advice on the circumstances in which an IS91RA form should be completed and submitted to the Home Office.

Supplementary guidance on managing cases of individuals with COVID-19 comorbidities under the adults at risk in immigration detention policy (AAR) came into force on 20 March 2020. Under this policy, individuals suffering from one of the conditions set out in Public Health England guidance on COVID-19 are automatically regarded as falling within level 3 of the AAR. The policy was made available to Home Office staff and to contracted staff in immigration removal centres, and it has been published on Gov.UK.

As of 19 June, there are currently no cases of Covid-19 in immigration removal centres.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any additional guidance has been issued to Home Office immigration detention case workers on making assessments under the Adults at Risk in Immigration Detention policy as a result of COVID-19.

The most recent guidance for staff operating in immigration removal centres (IRC) and residential short-term holding facilities (RSTHF) on the principles for managing COVID-19 in places of detention came into force on 5 May 2020 and has been published on Gov.UK. This guidance includes advice on the circumstances in which an IS91RA form should be completed and submitted to the Home Office.

Supplementary guidance on managing cases of individuals with COVID-19 comorbidities under the adults at risk in immigration detention policy (AAR) came into force on 20 March 2020. Under this policy, individuals suffering from one of the conditions set out in Public Health England guidance on COVID-19 are automatically regarded as falling within level 3 of the AAR. The policy was made available to Home Office staff and to contracted staff in immigration removal centres, and it has been published on Gov.UK.

As of 19 June, there are currently no cases of Covid-19 in immigration removal centres.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their target for the number of (1) claims settled in full, and (2) interim awards made, in respect of the Windrush Compensation Scheme within (a) 18 months, and (b) one year, of the commencement of that Scheme.

We are processing claims as quickly as possible, but all claims are different, and the time taken will depend on many factors, including the complexity of the case. We are committed to working with the claimant to ensure all possible information is taken into account - this will have an impact on the length of time it takes to process the claim but can result in a higher level of payment. Wherever possible, we will make interim payments on parts of the claim that are straightforward to determine, such as immigration fees, thereby speeding up the provision of compensation.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Draft Working Text for an Agreement between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the European Union on the transfer of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children makes it a mandatory obligation to (1) ensure family reunion, and (2) confer rights enforceable through domestic legal systems

The UK published the draft legal text of our proposed agreement with the EU on the family reunion of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children on 19 May.

Under the terms of the draft legal text, the UK would act on requests from sending states where we are satisfied that the criteria for transfer as set out in the draft legal text are met. It is only right that all transfers are in a child’s best interests and the legal text makes that clear. A transfer could be rejected, for example, where there are safeguarding concerns or failure to establish a proven family link as these transfers would not be in a child’s best interests.

With regards to conferral of rights enforceable through domestic legal systems, the UK will abide by its international agreements and implement it in domestic law as appropriate. An individual’s rights come from the UK’s implementation of an international agreement, not from the agreement itself – this is standard practice for all international agreements.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the efficacy of facial recognition technology when significant numbers of members of the public are wearing protective masks.

The Home Office has not made any such assessment.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Home Office and its contracted providers have made a public health assessment of asylum accommodation in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

The Accommodation providers recognise the challenge of managing COVID 19 within our accommodation estate and are working closely with Public Health England (PHE) on how their guidance on social distancing and self-isolation is properly applied, while ensuring that people can continue to access essential services.

In Initial Accommodation facilities, which tends to be hostel based, PHE Guidance recommends that separate rooms and segregation be provided for symptomatic people, or they should be moved to hotels. Our providers have configured their accommodation estate to meet this guidance.

In Dispersed Accommodation, which is houses or homes of multiple occupancy accommodating small numbers, Service Users have been provided guidance to ensure they socially distance or self isolate in line with the advice provided to the general public. Additionally, services providers have enhanced their contact management and wraparound services to ensure access to medical care, food packages and other essential items.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures asylum accommodation providers have made to ensure that people seeking asylum are able to follow the Government’s guidance on social distancing and staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

The Accommodation providers recognise the challenge of managing COVID 19 within our accommodation estate and are working closely with Public Health England (PHE) on how their guidance on social distancing and self-isolation is properly applied, while ensuring that people can continue to access essential services.

In Initial Accommodation facilities, which tends to be hostel based, PHE Guidance recommends that separate rooms and segregation be provided for symptomatic people, or they should be moved to hotels. Our providers have configured their accommodation estate to meet this guidance.

In Dispersed Accommodation, which is houses or homes of multiple occupancy accommodating small numbers, Service Users have been provided guidance to ensure they socially distance or self isolate in line with the advice provided to the general public. Additionally, services providers have enhanced their contact management and wraparound services to ensure access to medical care, food packages and other essential items.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the use of Immigration Removal Centres in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in particular (1) how many detainees have been released from detention since 23 March; (2) how many detainees remain in detention; (3) whether any asylum seekers have been placed in detention since 23 March, and if so how many; and (4) what measures have been taken to shield detainees and to maintain social distancing both for detainees and staff.

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.

There is a general presumption of liberty for all individuals. Detention is used only when necessary, and 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.

There is no-one currently detained and going through the Detained Asylum Casework process. The majority of asylum claims are processed in the non-detained system, with claimants living in the community. Only a minority of claimants are detained whilst their claim is considered and almost all of those who have their claim considered in detention only claim asylum after being detained for removal. Asylum claims in detention are considered in accordance with published detention guidance, incorporating the policy on safeguarding adults at risk.

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.

The Home Office publishes data on people leaving and in detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of people detained under immigration powers at the end of each quarter are published in table Det_D02 and of those leaving detention are published in table Det_D03 of the immigration detention detailed datasets.

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to those in detention as at 31 December 2019. Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the 'summary tables'. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

Figures covering the first quarter of 2020, including those detained as at 31 March 2020 will be released on 21st May 2020. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will credit the Aspen cards for asylum seekers with more than one week’s allowance at a time.

We are currently reviewing the level of the cash allowances, as we do each year, to ensure that they remain capable of meeting the essential living needs of asylum seekers.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that asylum seekers and people who do not have a settled immigration status are encouraged to seek medical assistance as appropriate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Those currently accommodated within our support accommodation can receive advice and have access to our Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) provider, Migrant Help. They can contact Migrant Help 24 hours a day on a freephone number if they need assistance or guidance. AIRE are working closely with the Home Office’s Asylum Safeguarding Hub.

All asylum accommodation providers continue to provide translated public health guidance, available in 12 languages, and instructions to service users and we are looking at options to provide a level of internet access across our Initial Accommodation estate.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many refusals they have made to provide information to a data subject by using the exemption in Schedule 2, paragraph 4 to the Data Protection Act 2018 in connection with (1) applications for settled status under the EU Settled Status Scheme, and (2) grants of pre-settled status when settled status has been applied for.

We do not hold data on specific types of applications, therefore cannot provide information pertaining to EUSS applicants who made a Subject Access Request.

The immigration exemption can only be applied where it is necessary and proportionate to do so, and where to uphold a data subject request would be likely to prejudice the maintenance of effective immigration control.

The immigration exemption is not a blanket measure, and its use is justified on a case by case basis. In nearly all cases the immigration exemption applies to a limited amount of data and the majority of data held is disclosed to the requestor.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that local authorities and emergency response teams are prepared for the end of the transition period for leaving the EU on 31 December.

The UK left the EU on the 31 January 2020 and the Government is committed to working with the EU to negotiate a fair future trade agreement. We are working closely with local authorities and Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) and will continue to do so to prepare for the end of the transition period.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment the (1) Cabinet Office, and (2) Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, have made of the impact of the UK not becoming a party to the Lugano Convention.

The Government is committed to ensuring cross-border legal disputes can be resolved smoothly, in the interests of families, consumers and businesses both in the UK and across Europe. From 1st January this year cross border disputes are managed through the domestic arrangements of the UK and EU / EFTA states as well as our international agreements under the Hague Conventions.