I am very pleased and encouraged that since 2016, the UK has resettled a greater number of refugees from outside Europe than any other EU state. I continue to believe strongly that we need to do all we can to help the world’s most vulnerable people. I agree with the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury who said that the resettlement of thousands of vulnerable refugees over the last four years is something the UK can be proud of.
However, I understand there are those with concerns about the UK’s resettlement programme going forward, particularly from 2020 onwards. It is therefore extremely positive that the Government has announced a new resettlement scheme for the most vulnerable refugees which is set to start in 2020.
The new scheme will be a consolidation of the Vulnerable Persons’ Resettlement Scheme, the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme and the gateway protection programme into a single global scheme from 2020. I am pleased that the new programme will be simpler to operate and will create greater consistency in the way the UK Government resettles refugees.
It is also welcome that the community sponsorship scheme will continue. This scheme, which allows community groups to welcome and support refugees in the UK directly, will be in addition to the Government’s new scheme. You may also be interested to know that the new scheme from 2020 will focus beyond the Middle East and North Africa.