I am presenting only one petition this evening. May I start by drawing the House’s attention to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests? It was notified to the Petitions Office yesterday, but I am afraid it appears not to have made it on to the Order Paper. I present this petition on behalf of the residents of the United Kingdom, and I want to thank my friends in Refugee and Asylum Seeker Voice, who have worked so hard to bring people together to draw this petition to the attention of the House. It requests that
“the House of Commons urges the Government to follow its guidelines and ensure initial asylum decisions are made within six months”
It continues by stating that if the Government are not able to do that, they
“should ensure that claimants are informed of the reasons behind any delay.”
Following is the full text of the petition:
[The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,
Declares that the current government policy which states that initial asylum decisions ‘will be usually decided within six months’ has not been followed in many cases, with some people waiting years without being able to work, choose where to live or move forward with their lives; further that in 2017, almost half of all asylum claimants waited six months for their initial decisions; and further that, this leaves many people in a state of uncertainty regarding their future, affecting their health, mental health, careers, education, and their financial situation as evidenced in the report, ‘The Waiting Game’ produced by Refugee and Asylum Seeker (RAS) Voice, a group of people seeking asylum living in Manchester.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to follow its guidelines and ensure initial asylum decisions are made within six months, failing this, the government should ensure that claimants are informed of the reasons behind any delay.
And the petitioners remain, etc.]