Ukraine: Refugees

Debate between Lord Clark of Windermere and Baroness Williams of Trafford
Tuesday 8th March 2022

(3 months, 3 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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It is very difficult to know from a short exchange on my noble friend’s question when the family tried to make the appointment and all that sort of detail, but I know that 1,451 appointments have been made in Warsaw. I will keep her updated. We have extra capacity in our VACs and will have 100 extra people trained by the end of the week. I will certainly take back her point about Warsaw, and make sure that everything is running smoothly.

Lord Clark of Windermere Portrait Lord Clark of Windermere (Lab)
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My Lords, is it true that the Government have issued more visas to Russian oligarchs than they currently plan to issue for Ukrainian refugees? Does the Minister’s announcement today mean categorically that there will be a vast increase in the number of Ukrainian refugees accepted?

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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As I said, the figures are uncapped: as many people who want to come here can come, whether or not they have family ties. It was estimated last week, I think, that under the family routes provisions we might see 200,000—there is no limit on the number of people who can come here through this humanitarian sponsorship pathway scheme.

Health Measures at UK Borders

Debate between Lord Clark of Windermere and Baroness Williams of Trafford
Thursday 4th February 2021

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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I thank the noble Lord for his suggestion. Of course, the Government are open to any suggestions that might make the process more efficient. In response to his question about how long this will go on for, we are completely guided by the numbers. Obviously there have been very pleasing developments recently—the numbers are going down. The noble Lord is absolutely right that technological advances are always very useful in this regard. As to the three-hour wait, even though air travel is 90% down, I suspect that the reason for the wait to which the noble Lord referred was because of the step-up in checks and procedures at the border.

Lord Clark of Windermere Portrait Lord Clark of Windermere (Lab) [V]
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My Lords, the Minister has a well-earned reputation of being very assiduous, and she has shown that today in answering the questions. May I test her a little further? In a nutshell, on 27 January, the Home Secretary, when she was announcing that we were going to have to tighten up our borders, said that there were

“too many people coming in and out of our country each day.”

That was eight days ago and, as I understand it, we might have to wait another 10 days before the Government’s new policy is implemented. I know that the Government—and especially the Minister—are very thorough, so can she give me some advice about the Government’s estimate of the number of individuals who enter this country every day who may be carrying the disease and how that will mount up over the days? How can the Government justify taking so long to implement this new policy?

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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I thank the noble Lord for his question. It is very nice to see him after so long; I have not seen him for ages. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary did say that too many people were going in and out of the country, which helps to spread the virus and risks new variants going in and out. I have a very old figure for the percentage of individuals who may be carrying the virus into the country, but I suspect it is out of date. That figure is 2%, but I am going back nearly a year now. If it is wrong, I will give the noble Lord a more up-to-date figure. I suspect it is not correct now.

Why are the quarantine hotels taking so long? I presume that was the question. It is a DHSC matter, and it has to procure the hotels and put Covid-secure arrangements in place for people to quarantine. Some of the arrangements in Australia are incredibly stringent.

Scheduled Mass Deportation: Jamaica

Debate between Lord Clark of Windermere and Baroness Williams of Trafford
Tuesday 1st December 2020

(1 year, 7 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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Perhaps I can turn to my noble friend’s last question first, because he is absolutely right; my noble friend Lord Lancaster also alluded to this point. To conflate this flight, which contains some pretty serious criminals, with the people of the Windrush generation who came to this country to rebuild it after the war is an absolute insult to the Windrush generation, so I absolutely agree with my noble friend.

On the second point about the percentage of deportations, he is absolutely right. It is tiny: in terms of deportations to Jamaica, it is some 1%. Thirdly, he is absolutely right about the legislation: the UK Borders Act was passed in 2007 under a Labour Government.

Lord Clark of Windermere Portrait Lord Clark of Windermere (Lab) [V]
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My Lords, the noble Baroness was unusually unforthcoming about the age of people coming to this country and their deportation. Will she look into this, because it does seem very fair to the Windrush generation that it applies to anyone who came to the UK before they were 12? That seems a very decent thing to do. Will she look into this and see if it can be put in a more formal arrangement?

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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I would say to the noble Lord that nobody due to be on that flight is of the Windrush generation—that is number one. In terms of the age of people coming to the UK, I keep saying that the provisions of the UK Borders Act 2007 still stand; I hope that that answers that question. I will go back and confirm that those provisions still stand and that, no matter what age someone came to this country, if they have committed a serious crime and have been jailed for more than 12 months, they will be under the provisions of the UK Borders Act 2007.

Fireworks: Damage

Debate between Lord Clark of Windermere and Baroness Williams of Trafford
Wednesday 11th November 2020

(1 year, 7 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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The number of 2,000 that the noble Lord quotes is actually not far off the figure that I have, which is 1,936. On the point about the numbers declining, if I go through them he will see just how much they have declined—notwithstanding the fact that he was injured by a firework, for which I am terribly sorry. There were 1,936 injuries in 2018-19; 4,436 in 2017-18 and 5,340 in 2016-17. That is a very marked decrease in injuries from fireworks.

Lord Clark of Windermere Portrait Lord Clark of Windermere [V] (Lab)
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My Lords, over the past weekend, to see firemen and police being attacked by yobs with fireworks as they attended emergency call-outs saddened me. Then, to hear the police describe fireworks as the hooligans’ weapons of choice persuaded me that only fireworks in organised displays should be permitted. I am disappointed with the Minister’s reply.

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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My Lords, police being attacked by fireworks might be police being attacked by something else on a different night. There are restrictions on anti-social and nuisance behaviour through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and the police and local authorities of course have powers under that Act to tackle anti-social and nuisance behaviour. Of course, the noble Lord points out something that is extremely dangerous if people decide that they will behave in this way.