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Lift the Ban – MP letter Nov 2020

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Will you write to your MP and ask them to back the call to allow asylum-seekers to work?

Here’s a letter template which you can use; feel free to edit/amend it. It asks your MP to support the call to Lift the Ban and ask the government to allow asylum-seekers to work, like refugees can. There is growing cross-party support this call, so we need to keep the pressure up and ensure we reach tipping-point.   

What to do

  • Download the letter template
  • Check that it’s addressed to your own GP. If your MP isn’t Julian Smith, just change the relevant items marked in red and then set the text to black
  • Personalise any information you want (eg as show in red) and then set it back to black
  • Add your name, address and your postcode (vital) and then set them back to back, also
  • Ideally, email but otherwise post your letter to your MP. You can easily find this online, but here’s Julian Smith’s email address.

Thank you so much!

Here’s the context:

Our current asylum system prevents asylum-seekers from working, and this policy is in no one’s interest. Asylum-seekers can only apply to the Home Office for permission to work:

  • if they’ve been waiting for a decision for over 12 months, AND (and here’s the rub)
  • if they can do the few esoteric jobs on the Shortage Occupation List (which includes ballet dancer and geophysicist, but not many entry-level professions or areas in which we are facing a shortage, such as health and social care and agriculture). 

At present, people who have risked everything to seek safety here must live on just £5.66 per day to meet all essential living costs, a sum which often forces them into destitution. Allowing asylum-seekers to work would enable them to:

  • restore their dignity and have some independence
  • stop them having to depend on benefits – for which they are berated but in which they have no choice
  • enable them to contribute to the Treasury by paying income and other taxes (£97.8million could come from increased tax and NI contributions + and slashing spending on asylum support)
  • add to GDP through their own consumer spending
  • allow them to use their skills to benefit our economy.

71% of the public agree with our call to Lift The Ban, and the UK compares poorly to countries across North America and Europe in this regard.