Clause 29 - Article 1(A)(2):well-founded fear

Part of Nationality and Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 5:13 pm ar 26 Hydref 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 5:13, 26 Hydref 2021

I am not aware of the evidence of that, so I cannot comment. At the end of the day we are talking about people who are at risk. We are not talking about a road traffic case, a minor bump or the small claims court. We are talking about people whose lives are at risk, or they are at risk of serious harm and persecution. That is why we have to be very, very careful about requiring evidence beyond the standard that is internationally accepted.

Let us say that a decision maker is certain that LGBT people in general are at risk of persecution on return to a particular country. Even though the decision maker thinks there is a reasonable likelihood that a particular applicant is LGBT, that will not be enough to secure refugee status. The decision maker could be 49% certain that the applicant is LGBT and 100% certain that an LGBT person returned to a particular country will be tortured and killed, but that 1%—that tiny little bit of doubt—means that the balance of probabilities threshold will not be met, and that case will be rejected. The implications are huge.

Amendment 152 seeks to maintain the status quo. Let us not mess with a long-established principle, and let us be very, very careful that we are not denying refugee status to people who we know should be awarded it.