Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice
In accordance with the Inter-Institutional Relations Agreement, I am giving notification that I attended the first meeting of the Safety, Security and Migration Interministerial Group (IMG), which took place virtually on 1 February, bringing together members of all four governments.
The meeting was attended by the Home Secretary, the Rt Hon. Suella Braverman KC MP, as the Chair, and the Scottish Government’s Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, Neil Gray MSP. In the absence of Ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive, Dr Jayne Brady, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, was also in attendance.
During the meeting I re-emphasised the Welsh Government’s focus on crime prevention and welcomed the opportunity this IMG provides for the sharing of best practices. I outlined my work with the Domestic Abuse Commissioner and my role as Co-Chair, with PCC Dafydd Llywelyn, of our Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence National Partnership Board, which has a wide-ranging remit including violence in the home, the workplace and in public places. I reiterated the Welsh Government’s commitment to further fund police community support officers across Wales.
I stated the need for Welsh Government officials to have early engagement with the UK Government on developments of the Nationality and Borders Act and stressed the need for immediate and continued discussions around current safe and legal migration routes into the UK. I suggested that safe and legal migration routes be a substantial agenda item at the next IMG.
I also expressed my interest in the Scottish Rural Visa Pilot.
There was a discussion about Asylum Dispersal, in which I highlighted the pressures that had been placed on Welsh Local Authorities and the negative impact the tariff reduction for the Ukrainian Resettlement Scheme had had on community cohesion. I expressed our disappointment in the UK Government’s policy preventing asylum seekers from gaining employment, which is detrimental to the economy, given the ongoing labour shortages. I also explained that the Welsh Government has a strategy in place to provide transitional accommodation for those with a housing need in Wales and it would be beneficial if discussions could be held prior to the UK Government procuring hotels in Wales for emergency housing.
I welcomed the discussion on some aspects of Homeland Security.
A short joint Communiqué is published on the UK Government website at:
Interministerial Group for Safety, Security and Migration Communiqué: 1 February 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)