This crisis has shown we are weathering the same storm, but we are not all in the same boat. Over the years, Governments led by both major parties have introduced immigration rules that lock people out of vital state services like the NHS and the social security safety net.

The ‘no recourse to public funds’ visa condition which applies to 1.4 million people in the UK, bars them from accessing basic public support like Universal Credit and free school meals – with the restrictions falling disproportionately on black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

The NHS was instructed by the Home Office to introduce charging, and to share its patient data with immigration officials. The ability of a doctor to save lives should never be put at risk or made to depend on whether the person in front of them can show their paperwork.

And the Hostile Environment in housing, the ‘Right to Rent’ scheme, has been found by two English courts to cause racial discrimination in housing. It takes black, Asian and minority ethnic people and migrants up to twice as long to find a home to rent as a white British person, Court of Appeal judges found.

When Britain is at its best, we are so much better than this. We can and must end the Hostile Environment, to ensure that everyone, no matter their nationality or immigration status, can get state support and services, so that the lives of migrants and people of colour are protected in exactly the same way as the lives of British and white people.

A new deal on migration means

  • Ending the Hostile Environment in full including
    • Scrap Right to Rent - the Hostile Environment in housing,
    • Abolish NHS charging and end the sharing of data between public services and immigration enforcement
    • Lifting the No Recourse to Public Funds visa condition

Only then can we be sure that we all have the essentials we need to weather a storm – a roof over our heads, healthcare when we are sick and an income to survive.