Clause 22 - Civil legal services for recipients of priority removal notices

Part of Nationality and Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:00 pm ar 26 Hydref 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Llafur, Sheffield Central 3:00, 26 Hydref 2021

Similarly, I want to ask a couple of questions of the Minister on why the opportunity has not been taken to go beyond the provisions in the clause, because there is a real problem with access to legal aid. Research by Refugee Action has shown that, since the changes introduced in 2012, it has been much more difficult to secure legal aid. There is also a vast difference in provision across the country, with provision concentrated in metropolitan areas such as London and Birmingham, and not in dispersal areas, where it is particularly difficult to access legal aid. Refugee Action’s report recommended that the Government should commit to ensuring that everybody in the asylum system who is eligible for legal aid representation has access to it. What are the Government proposing in respect of that?

If the clause is about ensuring that issues are resolved at the appropriate stage, why are the Government not extending legal aid to all stages of the process? If cases are successfully resolved at an earlier stage, surely it is to everybody’s benefit.