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Resettlement Policy

Volume 21: debated on Thursday 1 April 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether it is any part of Her Majesty's Government's policy to offer resettlement to those residents of Northern Ireland who wish to move away from Northern Ireland.

It is not the Government's policy to offer general assistance to residents of Northern Ireland wishing to settle elsewhere. I am glad to have this opportunity to record that the recent newspaper reports which no doubt prompted my hon. Friend's question are entirely without foundation, no consideration of such "resettlement" has taken place either in my own Department or that of my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. The only circumstances in which financial help is available is in a few exceptional individual cases of people who have been seriously intimidated or threatened and who wish to leave Northern Ireland, but it would not be in the public interest to enter into detail.