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Hastings & Rye Labour Party Vote to Lift The Ban

Jay Kramer – Hastings Community of Sanctuary

We are delighted to announce that at it’s meeting in April the Hastings & Rye Constituency Labour Party (CLP) unanimously passed the following motion relateing to the Lift The Ban campaign:

“This Hastings & Rye CLP notes that:

(i) in Hastings, there are up to 120 people seeking asylum in receipt of Section 95 support

(ii) since 2002, people seeking asylum have only able to apply for the right to work after they have been waiting for a decision on their asylum claim for over a year, and only if they can be employed into one of the narrow, highly-skilled professions included on the Government’s Shortage Occupation List;

(iii) people seeking asylum are left to live on £5.39 per day, struggling to support themselves and their families, and left vulnerable to destitution, isolation, and exploitation;

(iv) the potential foregone economic gain for the UK economy of allowing people to work is estimated to be £42.4million via increased taxable income and reduced payments of accommodation/subsistence support;

(v) 71% of people polled agreed with the statement: “when people come to the UK seeking asylum it is important they integrate, learn English and get to know people. It would help integration if asylum-seekers were allowed to work if their claim takes more than six months to process”;

(vi) Hastings & Rye CLP believes that:

(i) people seeking asylum want to be able to work so that they can use their skills and make the most of their potential, integrate into their communities, and provide for themselves and their families;

(ii) restrictions on the right to work can lead to extremely poor mental health outcomes, and a waste of potentially invaluable talents and skills both for the economy of Hastings, Rye, East Sussex and the UK;

(iii) allowing people seeking asylum the right to work would therefore lead to positive outcomes for those seeking asylum in Hastings and for the local and national economy;

This CLP resolves to:

(i) Call on Hastings Borough Council & East Sussex County Council to join the Lift the Ban Coalition, which is campaigning to restore the right to work for everyone waiting for more than 6 months for a decision on their asylum claim.

(ii) Call on the UK Government to give people seeking asylum the right to work unconstrained by the shortage occupation list after they have waited six months for a decision on their initial asylum claim or further submission.


1. To write to Cllr Peter Chowney, Leader of Hastings Borough Council, asking him to submit the motion for approval by the council

2. To write to Cllr Trevor Webb, Leader of the Labour Group on East Sussex County Council, asking him to submit the motion for approval by the council

3. To send the motion to Jeremy Corbyn, MP, Leader of the Opposition & Diane Abbot, MP, Shadow Home Secretary asking them for clarification of Labour Party policy and to raise the issue in the House of Commons during the second reading of the Immigration Bill”

Read more about the Lift The Ban Campaign