The United Kingdom has a proud history of supporting those in need of protection; our resettlement programmes have provided safe and legal routes to better futures for hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe. Since 2015, over 185,000 men, women and children seeking refuge have been offered a place in this country, which is more than any other similar resettlement scheme in Europe. This includes almost 100,000 British Nationals Overseas threatened by draconian security laws in Hong Kong, 20,000 through the Syrian scheme, 13,000 from Afghanistan, and around 50,000 Ukrainians.
In order to make the asylum system fairer and more effective, the Government will introduce new asylum reception centres, to replace hotels. The reception centre model is used in many European countries including Switzerland and Denmark. These will provide simple, safe and secure accommodation to stay in while claims and returns are processed.
It is important to stress that the Act does not actually facilitate the creation of accommodation centres, that was done back in 2005. Rather, the provisions in the legislation set out the various factors the Secretary of State may take into account when deciding on the type of accommodation to allocate to asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers in need of support. Its intention is to allow for the use of certain types of accommodation to house certain cohorts of asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers in order to increase efficiencies within the system and increase compliance.
The Home Office is required by law to provide asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute with accommodation, paid for by the taxpayer. I have been assured by my ministerial colleagues that the centres will be used only to accommodate such individuals, so those who obtain accommodation with friends or family are not affected.