Arrival of the Empire Windrush: Celebrating the 75th anniversary

National Windrush Day on 22 June 2023 will mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the passengers of the Empire Windrush to the UK. The day celebrates the contribution and achievements of the Windrush generation and their descendants. This briefing provides background information for a debate in the House of Lords on the government’s plans to mark this celebration.

Arrival of the Empire Windrush: Celebrating the 75th anniversary

Refugees and asylum-seekers: UK policy

In 2021, the government said that “as a force for good in the world” the UK would remain “sensitive to the plight of refugees and asylum-seekers”. It stated it had a “proud track record” of protecting those who need it, in accordance with its international obligations. However, the government has also spoken of the need to reform the “broken” asylum system. In 2022 it introduced new measures to implement changes.

Refugees and asylum-seekers: UK policy

Ugandan Asians: 50 years since their expulsion from Uganda

On 4 August 1972, Ugandan President Idi Amin gave his country’s Asian population 90 days in which to leave the country. Almost 40,000 Ugandan Asians would come to the UK over the months that followed to start new lives, leaving behind homes and businesses in the country of their birth. A national commemorative event will take place in London on 18 September 2022, 50 years after the first evacuation flight landed at Stansted airport.

Ugandan Asians: 50 years since their expulsion from Uganda
  • In Focus

    Ukrainian refugees in the UK: Access to public services and employment

    This article sets out information on the support available to Ukrainian refugees in the UK, particularly regarding access to employment, education, healthcare and other public services. It has been prepared ahead of debate on the needs of Ukrainian mothers and children arriving in the UK. It also provides further reading on some of the challenges they face.

  • In Focus

    The nursing workforce: Royal College of Nursing report

    A recent report by the Royal College of Nursing presented the findings of a survey of nursing and midwifery staff in the UK. It found that recent events, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the UK’s exit from the EU, had both highlighted and worsened long-term problems with workforce supply in health and social care. This article provides a summary of the report and of the UK government’s policy on increasing the number of nurses.

  • Current Affairs Digest

    Current Affairs Digest: Constitution (June 2022)

    In April 2022, the UK government announced a scheme to relocate certain asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda for asylum claims processing and potential resettlement. This led to national and international concerns about whether the scheme contravenes international human rights law. This article looks at some of those concerns, as well as other countries that have introduced similar policies.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Home affairs

    The Queen’s Speech is due to take place on 10 May 2022. The Government will use the speech to outline its plans for the new parliamentary session. This article considers what home affairs related announcements the Government might make, including plans for new legislation relating to counter-state threats and economic crime, and amendments to the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

  • In Focus

    The use of Napier Barracks to house asylum seekers: regret motion

    Napier Barracks in Kent has been used since 2020 as contingency or temporary accommodation for those seeking asylum. In September 2021, an order was laid before Parliament extending the use of the site for such purposes for another five years. This move came despite significant criticism of facilities at the site, including a judgment from the High Court declaring them inadequate and the Home Office guilty of employing unlawful practices.

  • In Focus

    Ukrainian refugees

    Over 4 million refugees have left Ukraine since 24 February 2022, when Russia launched its current invasion of the country. At least a further 6.5 million people are displaced within Ukraine. The UK Government has launched family and sponsorship schemes to allow Ukrainians to seek refuge in the UK. However, critics have alleged that the processes involved are slow and causing frustration for both Ukrainian refugees and their sponsors.

  • In Focus

    Office for Demographic Change Bill [HL]

    The Office for Demographic Change Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill which would establish an independent demographic authority to analyse the impact of UK population change. This article summarises what the bill would do, and the background to the proposals.

  • In Focus

    Data protection regulations and the immigration exemption

    In May 2021, the Court of Appeal ruled there was an unlawful incompatibility between provisions in the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation. In response, the Government introduced the Data Protection Act 2018 (Amendment of Schedule 2 Exemption) Regulations 2022 to remedy the issue. These will come into force on 31 January 2022. Critics have alleged that the regulations introduce insufficient data protection safeguards.

  • In Focus

    Forcibly displaced people

    The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimated that at the end of 2020 more than 82.4 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide. This briefing considers the UNHCR’s findings and what action the UK Government has taken in relation to the issue of forcibly displaced people.

  • Research Briefing

    Nationality and Borders Bill

    The Nationality and Borders Bill would provide for widespread reform of the immigration and asylum system, though a number of its provisions have proven controversial. This briefing examines the legislation ahead of its consideration in the House of Lords.

  • In Focus

    Migrants arriving in the UK by boat

    The number of undocumented migrants arriving in the UK by boat has been increasing since 2018. The Government has described such journeys as unsafe and unacceptable. The Nationality and Borders Bill includes measures aimed at deterring crossings. Critics such as the Refugee Council have alleged the bill will ‘unjustly’ subject refugees arriving without leave to differential treatment compared with those who arrive by other means.