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NRPF regime breaches Article 3 of the ECHR and is unlawful

Written by
Asad Ali Khan
Date of Publication:
01 June 2020

R (W, A Child By His Litigation Friend J) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2020] EWHC 1299 (Admin) (21 May 2020)

The "no recourse to public funds" or "NRPF" condition produces the effect of making its subjects ineligible for almost all benefits paid from public funds, including those intended to maintain the basic welfare of children. This judicial review claim was successful on the ground that the NRPF regime fails to ensure that imposing the NRPF condition will not result in inhuman treatment contrary to article 3 of the ECHR and is therefore contrary to section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 as expounded by the House of Lords in Limbuela [2006] 1 AC 396. According to the High Court, the NRPF regime, comprising paragraph GEN 1.11A and the earlier Appendix FM 1.0 Family Life (as a Partner or Parent) and Private Life: 10-Year Routes Instruction read collectively, did not adequately recognise, reflect or give effect to the Home Secretary's duty not to impose, or to lift, the condition of NRPF in cases where the applicant is not yet, but will imminently suffer inhuman or degrading treatment without recourse to public funds. "W", the claimant, was born in August 2011 and was British and he made his claim through his litigation friend, his mother "J" a national of Ghana who entered the UK in 2009 and was granted leave to remain in the UK as his parent on the 10-year route to settlement in 2013 for 30 months subject to the NRPF condition.

Since 2013, J had variously received leave to remain subject to a condition of NRPF. She worked as a carer for mentally disabled people, but the imposition of the condition led to her and W to endure periods of destitution. They even became street homeless once and were then housed by a local authority. They also relocated repeatedly and W had to move school five times before he was eight years old. Given that the claimant W succeeded on the article 3 ground it became unnecessary for the court to determine the challenge on the remaining five grounds which among other things alleged breaches of the public sector equality duty contrary to section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 and the common law duty to take into account all relevant considerations and the statutory duty under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009. Notably, section 3 of the Immigration Act 1971 contemplates a NRPF condition and person subject to a condition of this type is a "person subject to immigration control" within section 115(9) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and is excluded from eligibility for universal credit, income-based job-seeker's allowance, state pension credit, employment and support allowance, personal independence payment, attendance allowance, severe attendance disablement allowance, carer's allowance, disability living allowance, a social fund payment, health in pregnancy grant and child benefit: as detailed in section 115(1) and (3) of the 1999 Act.

Background

These benefits comprise almost all the benefits to which someone in J's position might otherwise be entitled, including those aiming to ensure the basic welfare of dependent children. Persons excluded from these items are generally excluded from receiving other kinds of support available only to those in receipt of means-tested benefits. Persons who are subject to the NRPF condition are not excluded from support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 but that support is only available for those with dependent children.

However, difficulties arise for families making the application and these were explained to the court by Project 17 which intervened in W's case. It was unnecessary for the court to dwell on the point because the Home Secretary did not attempt to defend the claim by reference to the availability of section 17 support. Official policy and practice as to when and how the NRPF condition is to be imposed and lifted is laid down in the Immigration Rules and the relevant Instructions. The rules must be laid before Parliament as specified by section 3(2) of the 1971 Act and contain statements of the executive's administrative practice and are not strictly rules of law, as clarified by Lord Reed in Hesham Ali [2016] UKSC 60. The Instructions are given to officials by the executive under Schedule 2, para 1(3) of the 1971 Act and must not be inconsistent with the rules but do not need to be laid before Parliament. As seen in Alvi [2012] UKSC 33, the statutory scheme produces the effect that anything "in the nature of a rule as to the practice to be followed" must be set out in the Immigration Rules. Guidance was given in Munir [2012] UKSC 32 about how to decipher when a policy governing the exercise of discretion outside the rules is "in the nature of a rule" and thus be must be laid before Parliament.

For the most part, introduced on 9 July 2012, NRPF was allegedly part of a "package of reforms… aimed at reducing burdens on the taxpayer, promoting integration and tackling abuse", which was "consistent with the position elsewhere in the Immigration Rules that migration to the UK should ordinarily be on a self-sufficient basis". Moreover, the criteria for deciding whether to impose or lift the NRPF condition had been formally incorporated into the Immigration Rules by amendment to Appendix FM, which provides a number of bases on which a person may be granted leave to remain allowing for eventual settlement by virtue of a connection with a family member who is a British citizen, settled in the UK or a refugee or person entitled to humanitarian protection. Separate provisions determine applications for entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner (D-ECP and D-LTRP), a child (D-ECC and D-LTRC) and a parent (D-ECPT and D-LTRPT) of such a person.

Under paragraph GEN 1.11A, entry clearance or leave to remain will normally be granted subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds, unless the applicant has provided the decision-maker with: exception (a) satisfactory evidence that the applicant is destitute as defined in section 95 of the 1999 Act, or exception (b) satisfactory evidence that there are particularly compelling reasons relating to the welfare of a child of a parent in receipt of a very low income.

The Immigration Rules for those applying as partners and parents say that entry clearance or leave to remain, if granted, will be subject to a condition of NRPF unless the decision-maker considers, with reference to paragraph GEN 1.11A, that the applicant should not be subject to such a condition. The rules for those applying as children provide that the child will be subject to the same condition as the parent. The wording of the Appendix FM 1.0 Family Life (as a Partner or Parent) and Private Life: 10-Year Routes Instruction in the December 2019 version and the 2015 and 2018 versions was different in two respects, i.e. (i) it no longer told caseworkers when the condition of NRPF "will not" be imposed and instead of the previous mandatory language, it told caseworkers when they "can exercise discretion" not to impose, or to lift, the NRPF condition, and (ii) the first bullet point went further than exception (a) in paragraph GEN 1.11A by indicating that the discretion can be exercised where the applicant either "is destitute" or "would be rendered destitute", though it gives no indication of what is meant by the latter.

Text under the heading "making a decision on the condition code" informed caseworkers that they should not impose or should lift the NRPF condition code when the applicant "is" destitute, but was silent about the cases where the applicant will imminently become destitute. Moreover, text under the heading "subsequent leave to remain applications" still instructed caseworkers that, on subsequent applications, leave must be granted subject to a condition of NRPF unless the applicant provides evidence that "they are" destitute or that one of the other two limbs applies (again saying nothing about the case where the applicant will imminently be rendered destitute). GEN 1.11A cross-refers to the definition of "destitute" in section 95 of the 1999 Act and section 95(1) has no direct application to those granted leave to remain under the 10-year settlement route.

Judicial review proceedings which were compromised after permission was granted, and contended that the decision to formulate and maintain the NRPF policy had been taken in breach of section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, led to a review in 2019 and resulted in a policy equality statement. While the ground fell away owing to the court's ruling on the main article 3 point, it was nonetheless common ground that the review in 2019 was only concerned with process rather than with the substantive criteria governing the decision whether to impose or lift a condition of NRPF. The Home Office conceded in its skeleton argument that, applying Limbuela, the regime would be unlawful if it required applicants to become destitute before applying for the NRPF condition to be lifted.

Legal principles

JCWI 1 [1997] 1 WLR 275 concerned regulations purporting to exclude from entitlement to social security payments asylum seekers who had made late claims. Simon Brown LJ (with whom Waite LJ agreed) thought that the regulations rendered the asylum seekers' appeal rights nugatory and the court recalled that two centuries ago in Reg v Inhabitants of Eastbourne (1803) 3 East 103, 107, Lord Ellenborough said that "the law of humanity, which is anterior to all positive laws" obliged the UK to afford relief to poor foreigners "to save them from starving". Simon Brown LJ was not simply applying the principle that subordinate legislation will be invalid if repugnant to a statute (including a statute other than its enabling Act). In Ex parte M (1998) 30 HLR 10, Lord Woolf MR analysed JCWI 1 and summed up from it that the court considered that making asylum seekers destitute so as to make them leave prior to the determination of their claims would be so draconian that the relevant regulations were necessarily rendered ultra vires because only primary legislation could achieve such a result. He saw the result in JCWI 1 as an instance of what subsequently came to be known as the "principle of legality". In Ex parte Simms [2000] 2 AC 115, Lord Hoffmann said that the principle means that "fundamental rights cannot be overridden by general or ambiguous words" and the courts will not infer otherwise in "the absence of express language or necessary implication to the contrary."

After the arrival of the Human Right Act 1998, in Limbuela the House of Lords explained that the fact that someone is "destitute" as the term is defined for the purposes of section 95 of the 1999 Act does not necessarily mean that she/he is enduring treatment contrary to article 3 and the threshold of severity which must be reached to entail a breach of article 3 is higher than that required for a finding of destitution within the section 95(3) definition. Furthermore, section 6 of the 1998 Act imposes a duty to act not only when someone is enduring treatment contrary to article 3, but also when there is an "imminent prospect" of that occurring. In the latter case, the law imposes a duty to act prospectively to avoid the breach. How the Immigration Rules and Instructions should be read was elaborated by the House of Lords in Mahad [2009] UKSC 16 and the latter are given pursuant to paragraph 1(3) of Schedule 2 to the 1971 Act which provides that in exercising their functions under the Act officials shall act in accordance with such Instructions – not inconsistent with the Immigration Rules – as may be given.

Submissions

W argued that, in light of the clear concession in the government's skeleton argument, if the regime required that an applicant be destitute before the NRPF condition can be lifted, it would be ultra vires and incompatible with article 3, applying Limbuela. Relying on the reasoning in Mahad it was argued that paragraph GEN 1.11A of Appendix FM should be construed not as a statute, but according to the natural and ordinary meaning of the words used. So interpreted paragraph GEN 1.11A means that a decision not to impose, or to lift, the condition of NRPF can be made only where exception (a) or exception (b) applies and the former on its face requires that the applicant is destitute at the time of the application.

The word "normally" functions to indicate the default position that the condition of NRPF will be imposed. Exceptions (a) and (b) exhaustively define the circumstances in which a departure from the "normal" or default position is permitted. Therefore, just on the basis of the concession, the regime is ultra vires and incompatible with article 3. Moreover, the Instruction could not assist in interpreting paragraph GEN 1.11A because of the reasoning in Mahad. In any event, it fails properly to reflect the obligations imposed by article 3 as it suggests to caseworkers that they have a discretion to lift the condition of NRPF in the case of imminent destitution, whereas Limbuela made it clear that in such a case there is a duty to take proactive steps to prevent the destitution from occurring. Although it was a possibility to read down the Immigration Rules, this would not produce the transparent exposition of the law that is required by the ECHR and the common law in relation to provisions designed to safeguard fundamental rights as exacted by Lumba [2011] UKSC 12.

On the other hand, the government argued that the invocation of the "law of humanity" was pointless as the Inhabitants of Eastbourne concerned a legislative omission and no such problem existed in the instant case since section 3 of the 1971 Act enabled the NRPF condition. The Immigration Rules set out the categories of case to which it does, does not and may apply and the Instruction gave practical guidance to caseworkers about how to apply these rules to the cases before them with the result that the NRPF condition strikes a fair balance between being inflexibly prescriptive and arbitrarily open ended. Moreover, the proposition that the NRPF regime was insufficiently precautionary was resisted on the premise that the relevant test – as articulated recently in JCWI 2 [2020] EWCA Civ 542 (discussed here) – was whether the scheme was reasonably capable of operating lawfully and the regime passed that test. It was claimed that the Immigration Rules and Instruction could and should be read compatibly with article 3, applying the interpretative obligation in section 3 of the 1998 Act.

The Divisional Court

During the course of their judgment, Bean LJ and Chamberlain J first examined the tests applicable to a challenge to the Immigration Rules and Instruction, and then looked at the legal obligations on the Home Secretary, paragraph GEN 1.11A and the Instruction, and whether the flaws could be remedied by amendments to the Instruction alone.

The court addressed JCWI 2 concerning the controversial right to rent checks. In JCWI 2 it was held that in the situation where legislative provisions were directly under challenge rather than their application in an individual case, the challenge could only be made good where it was demonstrated that legislative scheme was "incapable of being operated in a proportionate way in all or nearly all cases" and Hickinbottom LJ said that owing to the fact that the right to rent scheme was "clearly capable of being operated in a proportionate way in most individual cases – indeed, it seems to me that it is capable of being operated by landlords in such a way in all individual cases – in my view, this is a complete answer to the claim". This proposition was drawn from the decisions in Christian Institute v Lord Advocate [2016] UKSC 51 and Bibi [2015] UKSC 68 and in the latter judgment which was given in the context of a challenge to a provision in the Immigration Rules (regarding pre-entry English tests for foreign spouses), Lady Hale said that the appellants had "set themselves a difficult task" because of the fact that it was easier to show incompatibility with Convention rights in an individual case but "it is much harder to show that the rule itself is inevitably unlawful, whether under the Human Rights Act 1998 or at common law." Lady Hale opined that there would not be an unjustified interference with article 8 rights in all cases and she said "the real problem lies not so much in the rule itself, but in the present guidance". Lord Hodge (with whom Lord Hughes agreed) considered that the government should consider amending the guidance. Moreover, Lord Neuberger invited submissions because the guidance had not been challenged in the case.

Two propositions arose from the above points (i) in a challenge to legislation (including the Immigration Rules, which are treated by the 1998 Act as subordinate legislation), the challenger must show that the legislation is, as pointed out it in JCWI 2, "incapable of being operated in a proportionate way in all or nearly all cases", and (ii) under Bibi the stringent test applicable to challenges to legislation does not apply where the challenge is to guidance and the question is whether there is a "significant number of cases" in which the application of the guidance will lead to a breach of Convention rights (or of some other rule of law). The test is broadly consistent with the one applied – also in the context of a challenge to guidance to caseworkers in the immigration field – in BF (Eritrea) [2019] EWCA Civ 872. With that in mind, Bean LJ and Chamberlain J took the view that:

58. In the specific context of challenges to guidance, a test of the kind applied in Bibi (does the guidance lead to unlawful results in "a significant number of cases"?) and BF (is there a real risk of the guidance leading to an unlawful result in a more than minimal number of cases?) seems to us to be consistent with principle. Guidance of the kind under consideration here is directed to caseworkers. One of its principal functions is to assist them to make lawful decisions. It is well established that the court can and should intervene where guidance is misleading as to the law or will "lead to" or "permit" or "encourage" unlawful acts.

W's challenge was to the regime comprising paragraph GEN 1.11A of Appendix FM and the Instruction and the proper approach to the challenge required the High Court to ask itself two key questions, (i) does the NRPF regime, read as a whole, give rise to a real risk of unlawful outcomes in a "significant" or "more than minimal number" of cases?, and (ii) if so, can that risk be remedied by amendments to the Instruction alone? The government's legal obligations entailed analysis on three legal propositions which were undisputed, i.e. (i) there are cases in which the decision-maker is not only entitled, but legally obliged, not to impose a condition of NRPF or to lift such a condition, (ii) these include cases where the applicant is suffering inhuman and degrading treatment by reason of lack of resources, and (iii) theses cases also include matters where the applicant is not yet suffering, but will imminently suffer, such ill-treatment without recourse to public funds. These propositions were linked to the concession in the government's skeleton argument that because of the decision in Limbuela, paragraph GEN 1.11A would be unlawful if it required applicants to become destitute before they could apply for the NRPF condition not to be imposed, or to be lifted. Bean LJ and Chamberlain J said this:

61. Although the Secretary of State's concession was made on the basis of the reasoning in Limbuela, which was itself based on the obligation imposed by Article 3 ECHR, in our judgment, the propositions set out at [60] above would also follow at common law even in the absence of Article 3. Section 3(1)(c)(ii) of the 1971 Act expressly empowers the Secretary of State to impose an NRPF condition. But it imposes no duty to do so and it is silent as to when the condition should be imposed and when it should be lifted.

In the light of the decision in JCWI 1, Inhabitants of Eastbourne, Ex parte M and Ex parte Simms it was the view of their Lordships that:

61. … clear words in primary legislation would be required to authorise the imposition or maintenance of a condition of NRPF where the effect would be (as Lord Bingham put it in Limbuela) "by the deliberate action of the state, [to deny] shelter, food or the most basic necessities of life". There are no such clear words. In the absence of them, we would hold that s. 3(1)(c)(ii) of the 1971 Act does not authorise the imposition or maintenance of a condition of NRPF where the applicant is suffering inhuman and degrading treatment by reason of lack of resources or will imminently suffer such treatment without recourse to public funds.

Nowhere in paragraph GEN 1.11A or the Instruction were caseworkers informed that they were under an obligation not to impose, or to lift, the NRPF condition where an applicant was suffering or would imminently suffer inhuman/degrading treatment without recourse to public funds. The government argued that this could be inferred from the structure of paragraph GEN 1.11A but was not found in the Instruction. It was said that caseworkers could infer that, if exceptions (a) or (b) are applicable, the condition of NRPF should not be imposed or maintained. Exception (a) in paragraph GEN 1.11A applies only where the applicant "is" destitute but the Instruction clarifies that discretion can also be exercised where an applicant "would be rendered" destitute. Key in the submissions was the point that paragraph GEN 1.11A or the Instruction must not be read like statutes and stress was put on a sensible reading in line with the natural and ordinary meaning of the words used, recognising that they are statements of the executive's administrative policy.

Read collectively in that manner, the government contended that these instruments would convey to caseworkers that they were under an obligation not to impose, or to lift, the condition of NRPF both where the applicant is suffering inhuman or degrading treatment as a result of lack of resources and where he or she will imminently do so without access to public funds. The submission was rejected and Bean LJ and Chamberlain J remarked:

63. We are unpersuaded by this argument. The first step – which seeks to spell an obligation out of the language of paragraph GEN 1.11A – is flawed as a matter of basic propositional logic. "X will happen unless Y is done" does not entail that "if Y is done, then X will not happen". We have not overlooked that the Immigration Rules are to be read sensibly, according to the natural and ordinary meaning of the words used, but even so, we do not consider that paragraph GEN 1.11A suggests that caseworkers are under a duty to do anything. The obvious words connoting the existence of a duty – "will", "shall", "must", "should" – are absent.

Inevitably, even if paragraph GEN 1.11A were read as imposing a duty not to impose, or to lift, the NRPF condition in cases where exception (a) or (b) applied, the case remained unaddressed where the applicant is not yet suffering, but will imminently suffer, inhuman or degrading treatment. The rule was silent on that score and the (then) updated version of the Instruction used the words "or would be rendered destitute" and fell short of any duty to act in any situation. In fact the language used in the Instruction was discretionary and indicated to caseworkers that, where one or more of the exceptions apply, the decision whether to impose, or lift, the condition of NRPF was a matter for them to consider in the exercise of their discretion signified by the words "you can exercise discretion". While it was the case that the language used (regarding making a decision on the condition code) had been framed in the language of duty in line with the exceptions, it was equally true that the first exception warranted that "the applicant is destitute" and remained silent on when the applicant will imminently become destitute. And alternative text relating to the making a decision on subsequent leave to remain applications nevertheless instructed the decision-maker to grant leave to remain (by using the word "must") unless the applicant provides evidence that they are destitute or that one of the other two limbs applies.

Bean LJ and Chamberlain J recognised that they had "subjected paragraph GEN 1.11A of Appendix FM and the Instruction to a detailed logical and linguistic analysis". But they also clarified that in doing so they aimed to discern the "ordinary and natural" meaning of the text by conducting "a careful reading of the language used". Standing back and having read paragraph GEN 1.11A and the Instruction together did not make any difference and they held that:

66. … we find it impossible to identify the message that the Secretary of State is under a legal obligation not to impose, or to lift, the condition of NRPF in a case where the applicant is not yet suffering, but will imminently suffer, inhuman and degrading treatment without recourse to public funds. On the contrary, the message conveyed seems to us to be that, in that category of case, the decision-maker has a discretion whether to impose, or lift, the condition. This, in our view, has the potential to mislead caseworkers in a critical respect. It gives rise to a real risk of unlawful decisions in a significant, and certainly more than minimal, number of cases.

The court found that the evidence tendered by W's solicitor, by the the Unity Project and on behalf of Project 17 and the Home Office's evidence in reply, did not suggest that the shortcomings identified by the court in paragraph GEN 1.11A and the Instruction "were purely technical defects devoid of significance in the real world." While efforts were still ongoing to improve the quality of aberrant decisions resulting in any large-scale decision-making system, paragraph GEN 1.11A and the Instruction, failed to at minimum, identify clearly and accurately the circumstances in which the law requires the condition of NRPF not to be imposed, or to be lifted.

Next, Bean LJ and Chamberlain J analysed the issue of whether it was possible to remedy the flaws by making amendments to the Instruction alone. The argument was aired that it was one thing to attack the Instruction but no basis existed for impugning paragraph GEN 1.11A but the government admitted that many applicants with article 3 rights will have no dependent children, and exception (b) could never apply to them.

The fall-back position was to rely on the word "normally" which showed that GEN 1.11A did not exclude a decision not to impose, or to lift, the condition of NRPF even in a case where neither of the two exceptions applied. The court found no point debating this issue because both parties were agreed that it was possible to read it in this manner applying the interpretative obligation in section 3 of the 1998 Act. The result was that it was not really possible to say that GEN 1.11A of Appendix FM is incapable of being operated lawfully in all or nearly all cases and consequently the test set out in Bibi and JCWI 2 in order to make a successful challenge to legislation was not met. Yet the analysis did not reach its end because of the government's insistence that GEN 1.11A and the Instruction should be read together as a cohesive regime. The flaw identified by the court reflected a failure by the regime as a whole to identify the legal duty not to impose, or to lift, the condition of NRPF in a situation where an applicant is not yet suffering, but will imminently suffer, inhuman and degrading treatment. Indeed, the government had sensibly avoided referring directly to "inhuman or degrading treatment" and instead used the concept of destitution, as defined in section 95 of the 1999 Act because of the difficulty of identifying the point at which treatment crosses the article 3 threshold. Similarly it was difficult to identify the point at which inhuman or degrading treatment is "imminent" and the court suggested:

71. … One way of translating this concept into something more certain and manageable for caseworkers would be by cross-referring to the phrase "likely to become destitute" as used in s. 95 of the 1999 Act, and the periods prescribed under that Act. But that would at least arguably be guidance "in the nature of a rule", which (applying the Supreme Court's tests in Alvi and Munir) would have to be laid before Parliament.

72. There are, however, other ways in which the flaws we have identified in the NRPF regime could be remedied and it is for the Secretary of State to decide how to remedy them.

As regards the relief to be granted, the court preferred the government's draft because it was more closely aligned with the court's own judgment. The court therefore granted a declaration that, read together, the paragraphs GEN.1.11A and D-LTRPT.1.2 of Appendix FM and the section headed "Recourse to public funds" in the guidance document Family Policy: Family life (as a partner or parent), private life and exceptional circumstances (version 6.0) were unlawful in that, and to the extent that, they did not adequately reflect or give effect to the government's obligation under article 3 and section 6 of the 1998 Act and at common law not to impose, or to lift, the condition of no recourse to public funds in cases where the applicant is not yet destitute but will imminently suffer inhuman or degrading treatment without recourse to public funds.

The court also granted a mandatory order that the Home Secretary shall within 7 days of its order publish an Instruction to caseworkers that for applicants applying for, or with, leave to remain under paragraph D-LRTPT.1.2 of Appendix FM, the caseworker is under a duty either not to impose or to lift – as the case may be – a condition of no recourse to public funds if she considers, on the evidence available to her, that the applicant is at imminent risk of destitution without recourse to public funds.

Comment

This was a big loss for the government in more than one way and the court ordered that costs in the sum of £50,000 must be paid by the Home Secretary by way of an interim payment on account with the remainder to be assessed on the standard basis if not agreed. These were expensive proceedings to defend but that probably makes no difference to the Home Office because they appear to have a money tree to defend such proceedings and have a tendency to throw public money down the drain when it comes to their pointless demands which their caseworkers are generally oblivious to in any event.

Overall the mandatory order for the Home Office to publish an Instruction to caseworkers has resulted in guidance being updated which explains that paragraph GEN.1.11A is the basis in the Immigration Rules for exceptions to the wider policy on migrants not having recourse to public funds. The updated guidance (version 7.0) states on page 87 that "in all cases where an applicant has been granted leave, or is seeking leave, under the family or private life routes the NRPF condition must be lifted or not imposed if an applicant is destitute or is at risk of imminent destitution without recourse to public funds." The new guidance explains further on page 92 that "it is good practice to check before concluding consideration of an application where a specific request has been made for access to public funds that the risk of imminent destitution has been properly addressed."

Everyone with leave to remain where NRPF is imposed has no access to benefits that were denied to W's mother J. Stephen Timms MP asked Boris Johnson about this problem but the prime minister seems to have been taken totally off guard by the point during the Commons Liaison Committee session on 27 May 2020. This shows that the prime minister is totally out of touch with ground realties and has no clue exactly how cruel the hostile environment is for foreigners in the UK who he credits with saving his life from COVID-19. Ultimately it is difficult to disagree with Satbir Singh of JCWI who reminded the prime minister that he voted for these laws has further advised him to change them and provide relief to the suffering families and the 100,000 children who are caught in a trap and are threatened by destitution. The fact that J was a carer and was made to endure periods of destitution with her British son W really shows us all what the Conservative government stands for and there is no escape from the fact that it does not care for the people who risk their lives to care for us as a country.