Today I spoke in the Second Reading of the Nationality and Borders Bill. A Bill that aims to address historic anomalies and areas of unfairness in British nationality law as well as make the current system of applying for asylum fairer, firmer, and more efficient. This will ensure that those who are in genuine need can be supported and at the same time deter illegal entry into the UK.
The UK has a proud history of supporting the most vulnerable worldwide, having resettled more refugees than any other country in Europe, and this Bill ensures that the Government will stand by it’s moral and legal obligations to help people fleeing cruelty around the world, while condemning those who break the law.
In addition to this, I spoke on the importance of improving routes to citizenship for NHS workers. There are over 160,000 non-British NHS staff from 200 different countries, yet if they wish to apply for citizenship or indefinite leave to remain then it is a costly and arduous process.
Fees for Indefinite Leave to Remain are almost £2400, and citizenship applications cost another £1330, exemplifying that the process of becoming a citizen for many of our NHS workers is a costly and challenging one
So while I welcome the great many steps that this Bill takes to improve the UK’s asylum system to one that is based on need Mr Speaker, I feel that it is also our duty to focus on those who have already given so much to our country by creating a new route for citizenship for NHS workers.
As I have said before, it is time to reduce, and eventually abolish, the fees for Indefinite Leave to Remain and for Citizenship for those that work in our NHS so that those who spend time helping and treating us, can finally feel like they belong and are welcomed with open arms.
Watch my video below to see my speech.