UK Government in refugee funding u-turn

P3 src refugee glasgowweb

A charity has hit out after being informed that funding to help refugees settle in the UK will cease in the event of a no-deal Brexit

4th October 2019 by Gareth Jones 1 Comment

Vital funding that helps refugees to integrate into life in Scotland is set to be cut in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The Scottish Refugee Council has hit out at the UK Government after it reneged on a commitment to secure vital funding after Brexit.

The charity says it previously received assurances from Westminster that funding currently provided by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) would be secure after Britain leaves the European Union.

However now the council, and other organisations that receive the funding, have been informed that grants for the services will be cut instantly in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

"We are shocked and angry about this reversal of assurances given to us by the Home Office last year,” said Sabir Zazai, chief executive of the Scottish Refugee Council.

"Refugee integration services are an investment in all of our futures. When people feel settled and connected and able to put roots down in a place everyone in the community benefits.

"Our team works hard every day to help people feel at home here in Scotland. To help people cope with the stress and anxiety of a life uprooted and disrupted and to nurture people's ambitions to build a new life in safety here.

"We believe this work is important and we see every day in our packed waiting room the need for this type of support.”

Last year, the charity was successful in winning a bid for £2.2m in funding from the EU’s AMIF funding stream to develop and implement activities aimed at the integration of refugees in Scotland through support targeted at individual newly recognised refugees, their communities and receiving communities.

The charity’s activities support people at a foundational level- in realising and accessing their rights and citizenships and at the means and markers of integration level- with employment, housing, education and health as well as providing support for social connections at a community level.

After being informed that the funding will be cut in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Scottish Refugee Council has joined with fellow recipients the Refugee Council, Refugee Action, Barnet Refugee Service, the Refugee Women’s Association and the Refugee Education Training Advice Service in writing to Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid.

The letter states deep concern that thousands of refugees will suffer if the funding is cut, and said previous assurances were given.

It states: “We were given clear assurances by government when it first awarded AMIF grants that funding would be secure post Brexit. In a disgraceful u-turn we have been informed that funding for these services will be cut as soon as a no-deal Brexit takes effect.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The government has guaranteed funding for organisations that successfully bid directly to the European Commission for Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

“We are committed to effective integration. In February 2019 we published the integrated communities action plan and committed to work with civil society and others to increase integration support for all refugees in the UK. Our focus is on supporting refugees with English language, employment and entrepreneurship, and wellbeing.”

4th October 2019 by John

I think the fears of many of us for what a post-Brexit UK will look like are justified.