TL;DR - Read our responses to the UK Government’s consultation questionnaire here
Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, unveiled her New Plan for Immigration in Parliament on 24 March this year. Simultaneously, she launched a six-week public consultation, stating that she wanted as wide and diverse participation as possible. A normal period for a public consultation would usually be 12 weeks. The closing date for this consultation is the morning of 6 May.
We think it is extremely important that as many people as possible respond to this public consultation. Although the Government may choose to ignore the objections made, they are obliged to publish the results of the consultation and weight of numbers counts. So we are urging all our supporters to take the time to respond.
The consultation comes in the form of a questionnaire or survey. To participate, you will need to visit this page on the Government website and scroll down to the bottom of the page to press the button ‘Respond Online’. This will take you to a site run by Britain Thinks, the company conducting the survey on behalf of the Home Office. You will then need to register to complete the survey.
The Main Questionnaire comprises 45 questions divided into 8 Chapters. These chapters cover a wide variety of different legal issues; some are very straightforward but many are highly complex, requiring specialist knowledge. Many of the questions are multiple choice but in many cases there is no satisfactory choice offered. It is not required to answer every question and it is better to decline to answer than to risk appearing to endorse a damaging proposal. The most important questions to answer are the overall response to the proposals at Question 1, and the open questions where you can respond in your own words.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what to say! If you want to do your own research, read the New Plan for Immigration and then try some of the evidence-based answers from organisations dealing daily with these issues and the people with lived experience. We have put together a short guide with links to the most useful responses. Particularly helpful are the responses from SolidariTee, Amnesty and Asylum Matters.
We are also happy to share our responses to the questions we feel able to answer. You are most welcome to use these, if you find them useful.