Government agrees to reverse planned cuts to vital refugee services - Refugee Council
news  |  October 21, 2019

Government agrees to reverse planned cuts to vital refugee services

We are intensely relieved that the Government has agreed to reverse plans to cut vital refugee services in the event of a no-deal Brexit!

Nearly 50,000 people signed our open letter to the Chancellor calling on an immediate reversal of the proposal and over 1,000 wrote to their local MP asking them to raise this with matter with the Chancellor. The support we have received in just three weeks has been incredible and we cannot thank you enough!

Alongside this amazing support, we also worked hard to make sure that this decision by the Government did not go unnoticed. We secured media coverage in the Times and the Guardian among others, encouraged MPs to ask questions in the House or write to the Home Secretary themselves and we continued to put pressure on the Home Office and UK Responsible Authority behind the scenes.

The Refugee Council is one of 21 UK based organisations that were set to collectively lose millions of pounds worth of pre-allocated funding for vital refugee services if the UK left the European Union without a deal.

The move to cut these services was a disgraceful U-turn on the part of the Government, given the clear assurances that were made when it first awarded the grants that funding would be secure post Brexit. This back track threatened to seriously undermine the futures of vulnerable refugees – people the Government has committed to supporting though a range of vital services including housing, access to healthcare, support for mental ill health and help into employment.

The risks were great. Along with other organisations including, the Scottish Refugee Council, Barnet Refugee Service, RETAS, Refugee Action and Refugee Women’s Association we support an estimated 30,000 refugees in the UK through the funds that were at risk. And our services are for some of the refugees in the gravest danger – those who could have ended up on the streets, destitute and extremely isolated were these funds to be cut.

Maurice Wren, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, said: “We are intensely relieved to hear this news. The Government has listened to the concerns of nearly 50,000 people and agreed to keep the important promise it made to vulnerable refugees living in the UK and in need of support.

“We want to say an enormous thank you to everyone who came forward to support our campaign. It is no exaggeration to say that your help in putting pressure on the Government to see sense may well have saved the futures of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”