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Schedule 8 — transitional and consequential provision

Immigration Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:00 pm on 30th January 2014.

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Votes in this debate

  • Division number 201
    A majority of MPs voted for a series of immigration measures including greater removal and enforcement powers, restrictions on the detention of children, the introduction of powers to levy an NHS charge on some of those seeking to enter the UK, and measures to prevent those not legally present in the UK renting properties and obtaining driving licenses.

Amendments made: 8, page 100, line 6, at end insert—

In Schedule 2 (administrative provisions as to control on entry etc), in paragraph 2A(9), for “(immigration and asylum appeals)” substitute “(appeals in respect of protection and human rights claims)”.In Schedule 3 (supplementary provisions as to deportation), in paragraph 3, for the words from “of the kind” to “order)” substitute “that relates to a deportation order”.’.

Amendment 9, page 100, line 13, leave out paragraph 15 and insert—

The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 is amended as follows.Section 23 (monitoring refusals of entry clearance) is repealed.

(1) Section 141 (fingerprinting) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (7)—

(a) for paragraph (c) substitute—

“(c) any person (“C”) in respect of whom the Secretary of State has decided—

(i) to make a deportation order, or

(ii) that section 32(5) of the UK Borders Act 2007 (automatic deportation of foreign criminals) applies;

(ca) any person (“CA”) who requires leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom but does not have it;”;

(b) in paragraph (f), for the words from “paragraph (c)” to the end substitute “paragraph (c)(ii)”.

(3) In subsection (8), for paragraph (c) substitute—

“(c) for C, when he is notified of the decision mentioned in subsection (7)(c);

(ca) for CA, when he becomes a person to whom this section applies;”.

(4) In subsection (9)—

(a) in paragraph (b), after “C” insert “, CA”;

(b) in paragraph (c)(i) for “relevant immigration decision” substitute “decision mentioned in subsection (7)(c)”;

(c) after paragraph (c) insert—

“(ca) for CA, when he no longer requires leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom;”;

(5) Omit subsection (16).’.

Amendment 10, page 103, line 1, at end insert—

( ) in the definition of “human rights claim”—

(i) after “Kingdom” insert “or to refuse him entry into the United Kingdom”;

(ii) omit “as being incompatible with his Convention rights”;’.

Amendment 11, page 104, line 16, at end insert—

‘Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004 (c. 19)

(1) Schedule 3 to the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004 (removal of asylum seeker to safe third country) is amended as follows.

(2) In paragraph 1, at the end insert—

“(3) Section 92 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 makes further provision about the place from which an appeal relating to an asylum or human rights claim may be brought or continued.”

(3) In paragraph 5—

(a) omit sub-paragraph (2);

(b) in sub-paragraph (3), for the words from “by virtue of” to “rights)” substitute “from within the United Kingdom”;

(c) in sub-paragraph (4), for “by virtue of section 92(4)(a) of that Act” substitute “from within the United Kingdom”.

(4) In paragraph 10—

(a) omit sub-paragraph (2);

(b) in sub-paragraph (3), for the words from “by virtue of” to “rights)” substitute “from within the United Kingdom”;

(c) in sub-paragraph (4), for “by virtue of section 92(4)(a) of that Act” substitute “from within the United Kingdom”.

(5) In paragraph 15—

(a) omit sub-paragraph (2);

(b) in sub-paragraph (3), for the words from “by virtue of” to “rights)” substitute “from within the United Kingdom”;

(c) in sub-paragraph (4), for “by virtue of section 92(4)(a) of that Act” substitute “from within the United Kingdom”.

(6) In paragraph 19—

(a) omit paragraph (a);

(b) in paragraph (b), for the words from “by virtue of” to “rights)” substitute “from within the United Kingdom”;

(c) in paragraph (c), for “by virtue of section 92(4)(a) of that Act” substitute “from within the United Kingdom”.’

Amendment 12, page 104, line 18, at end insert—

‘( ) In section 12(3) (new definition of human rights claims), in paragraph (a) of the definition of “human rights claim”—

(a) after “Kingdom” insert “or to refuse him entry into the United Kingdom”;

(b) omit “as being incompatible with his Convention rights”.’.

Amendment 13, page 104, line 29, at end insert—

‘UK Borders Act 2007 (c. 30)

In section 17 of the UK Borders Act 2007 (support for failed asylum-seekers), in subsection (2)—

(a) in paragraph (a), omit “against an immigration decision”;

(b) in paragraph (b), omit “against an immigration decision”.’.

Amendment 14, page 104, line 42, at end insert—

‘( ) In section 2B (appeal to SIAC against deprivation of citizenship), omit the words from “(and” to the end.’.

Amendment 15, page 105, line 15, column 2, at beginning insert—

  Section 15(2), (3) and (5).

Amendment 16, page 105, line 27, at end insert—

Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 Section 51(3).

54, page 109, line 1, leave out from beginning to end of line 5.—(Mrs May.)

Ordered,

That paragraph 44 of Schedule 8 be transferred to line 11 on page 100.—[Mrs May.]

Third Reading

Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Secretary of State for the Home Department 4:39 pm, 30th January 2014

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

We have had a considerable and lively discussion today. I thank all who have contributed to the Bill during its various stages so far, particularly those who steered it through the Committee stage: the Minister for Immigration, my hon. Friend Mr Harper, and the Minister for Crime Prevention, my hon. Friend Norman Baker. Indeed, I am grateful for the hard work that was done by all members of the Committee.

Let me remind the House why the Bill is so necessary. It will bring clarity, fairness and integrity to the immigration system, and will address long-standing problems that have prevented the effective operation of immigration controls. It will do that by ensuring that those who are refused permission to stay are required to leave the country, and know that they must do so; by streamlining the appeals system to reduce the scope for playing the system; by ensuring that foreign criminals can be deported first and appeal afterwards, unless there is a real risk of serious irreversible harm; and by ensuring that courts must have regard to the will of Parliament when considering article 8 in immigration cases.

The Bill will make it more difficult for illegal migrants to live in the United Kingdom by denying access to the tools of everyday life. That will include giving landlords a duty to check the immigration status of tenants and imposing penalties on rogue landlords, and denying illegal migrants access to bank accounts and driving licences. We will also strengthen the enforcement of penalties for employers of illegal workers. The Bill reinforces controls to counter sham marriages and sham civil partnerships, conferring new powers and duties, and it will ensure that temporary legal migrants contribute to our national health service.

Photo of Diane Abbott Diane Abbott Labour, Hackney North and Stoke Newington

I accept the Home Secretary’s wish to clean up the system and discourage people from “playing” it—I deal with thousands of immigration cases every month—but has she given no thought to the effect that her measures that are designed to crack down on illegal immigrants could have on people who are British nationals, but appear as if they might be immigrants?

Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Secretary of State for the Home Department

We have given a great deal of thought to the way in which our measures will operate. The changes that we propose will strengthen our ability to deal with those who are here illegally. We are, for example, strengthening our ability to enforce penalties for those who employ illegal workers. The system enabling employers to determine whether the workers whom they employ are here legally or not is in place, is well known and is running properly, and the same will apply in the other areas that we are discussing.

The Bill will also help to discharge the Government’s commitment to introduce exit checks on people leaving the UK in order to tackle overstaying and prevent people from fleeing British justice.

Let me now go into a little more detail, although not too much, because I know that others wish to speak. The Bill substantially reforms the removals system, and ensures that illegal migrants who have no right to be in the UK can be returned to their own countries more quickly. We inherited a complex system involving multiple stages before an individual can be removed, allowing numerous challenges to be issued during the process. The Bill will ensure that we adopt a system whereby only one decision is made. Individuals will be informed of that decision, and if the decision is that they can no longer stay in the UK, immigration enforcement officials will be allowed to remove them if they do not leave of their own accord. The Bill also reforms the system whereby illegal migrants held in detention centres are allowed to apply for bail, and it gives immigration officers stronger powers so that they can establish the identity of illegal immigrants by checking fingerprints and searching for passports.

The current appeals system is also very complex. There are 17 different immigration decisions that attract rights of appeal, but the Bill will cut that number to four, which I think will prevent abuse of the appeal process. It will also ensure that appeals address only fundamental rights. It will make it easier to deport foreign criminals by requiring individuals to appeal from abroad after deportation, unless they face the prospect of serious harm.

Photo of Sarah Teather Sarah Teather Liberal Democrat, Brent Central

I do not intend to make a speech, because I know that others wish to speak, but an issue that has not been mentioned at all today is health. The organisation Doctors of the World, whose clinic I visited last week, is very worried about the Bill’s impact on those who do not have residence status. Such people are often extremely vulnerable, and many have been trafficked.

Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Secretary of State for the Home Department

The hon. Lady has raised a number of concerns about aspects of the Bill, and has indicated her objection to it overall. A number of the changes that we are making relate to migrants’ access to services, but I think that the issues to which she has just referred are within the purview of the Department of Health, and are therefore not relevant to the Bill.

We are strengthening our ability to deal with cases in which it has not been possible to deport foreign criminals because they have had recourse to an argument relating to article 8. That is a qualified right under the European convention, and we are now putting it into primary legislation. We expect the courts to respond appropriately.

We will require migrants who will be here temporarily to pay a surcharge so that they contribute to the NHS. I think that most hard-working people would agree that that is appropriate. We have improved our ability to deal with sham marriages.

The deprivation of citizenship is an important new power. As I indicated to the shadow Minister for Immigration, we are happy to discuss with him the full impact of that power. The Minister for Immigration will have those discussions with him. What we are doing meets our international obligations and will strengthen our ability to deal with those who wish to act in a way that is seriously prejudicial to the UK.

The Government are getting to grips with immigration. Net migration is down by nearly a third since its peak in 2010. Net migration from outside the EU is down to 140,000 and is at its lowest level since 1998. The reduction is being driven by cuts in the number of people coming to this country. In 2013, there were nearly 100,000 fewer people immigrating to the UK than in 2010.

We are making good progress with our reforms. We are transforming the immigration and border system. We have abolished the UK Border Agency, established two new operational commands, tightened immigration routes where abuse was rife, strengthened the system of granting students permission to enter or stay in the UK, reformed the family visa system, and set an annual limit on the number of non-EU economic migrants who are admitted to the UK. All those reforms are working well and are doing much to tackle the chaotic and dysfunctional system that we inherited from the previous Government, but we need to go further.

The Bill will build on our achievements. It will ensure that immigration serves our economic interests and that our system commands the respect of the British public, who need and deserve an immigration system that is fair, reasonable and measured. I commend the Bill to the House.

Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Shadow Home Secretary 4:46 pm, 30th January 2014

I, too, thank those who sat on the Committee and all those who have contributed throughout the Bill’s passage. I thank Opposition Members who have been involved, including my hon. Friend Helen Jones and especially my right hon. Friend Mr Hanson, who has worked tirelessly in responding to the Government’s proposals at the various stages.

The Immigration Bill has been a complete car crash for the Home Secretary. She and the Prime Minister launched it as their flagship Bill. It was the pride and joy of their legislative programme, and yet they have been hiding it away for months. It has been nowhere to be seen. They would not bring it back because they were so scared of their own Back Benchers.

Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Shadow Home Secretary

I am going to make some progress, because time is very tight.

The Home Secretary has become terrified of her own legislation. Even though Parliament has had hardly any business, she has kept the Bill away from the House and has then tried to rush it through in four hours today. We have had just four hours to debate a series of important amendments. On our proposals to tackle the impact of immigration on jobs and growth, and to take stronger action on the minimum wage and agencies that exploit immigration, there has been no debate today. On the proposals of Tory Back Benchers on Bulgaria and Romania, there has been no debate today. On the workability of the housing proposals, there has been no debate today. On the fairness of the appeal proposals, there has been no debate today. A series of amendments has been tabled by Members from all parts of the House, but none of them has been debated today.

What have we had instead? The Home Secretary pulled out of her hat, at the last minute, a new power on citizenship, with no consultation and no scrutiny, in a desperate attempt to distract her own party, but it failed. She then stood up for an hour and a half—I have to admire her resilience—to kill time, without even knowing what her position was on the key new clause, which was tabled by Mr Raab.

Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Secretary of State for the Home Department

As the right hon. Lady was not here for the whole debate on Report, perhaps I should enlighten her on what happened. Yes, I did speak for an hour and a half, but I took a large number of interventions, including many from Labour Members.

Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Shadow Home Secretary

The right hon. Lady did indeed take a considerable number of interventions. However, she informed my office yesterday that she would not be responding on Report, but only on Third Reading. She decided at the last minute that she would come to the House to respond to the amendments.

I have a lot of sympathy with the hon. Member for Esher and Walton, who tabled his new clause today. He is right to say that the Government are not doing enough to deport foreign criminals: the number being deported has dropped by 13% during the past three years. The Home Secretary should be doing more, and we think that there are more things the Government could do that would be legal and workable. That is the key. The problem today is that the Home Secretary and Downing street have told us themselves that the hon. Gentleman’s new clause is illegal and could make it harder to deport foreign criminals, not easier.

The Home Secretary told the House that she disagreed with the hon. Gentleman’s new clause, so how on earth could she simply sit on her hands and not take a view on it when it came to the vote? How on earth could she tell the Prime Minister:

“I propose that the Government does not support this amendment because it would be incompatible with the ECHR and counter-productive”, and then—as Home Secretary, responsible for upholding law and order in Britain—just sit there, scared of her own Back Benchers, and fail to vote against it? There is no precedent for Ministers simply abstaining in this way. This is not a free vote, in which Members are able to make their own decision. The Government simply thought that they would not take a view on the new clause, despite the Home Secretary having told the House that she was opposed to it.

The Home Secretary has lost control of her own policy. She told the Prime Minister last year that the hon. Member for Esher and Walton’s proposal would

“significantly undermine our ability to deport foreign criminals.”

She also told him that, under the provision, she would be unable to deport 4,000 criminals a year and would have to release “significant numbers” on bail while she went through the necessary legal proceedings, yet she was too scared to vote against it. We know that she opposed the new clause. If she had supported it, she could have voted for it and got it through, but she did not do so. She sat on her hands because she was scared.

What kind of Home Secretary is that? What kind of Government is this? The Home Secretary needs to get her act together.

The Bill will not sort out Britain’s immigration problems. There are some sensible measures in it, but there is an awful lot missing. Maybe the Home Secretary can get it sorted out in the Lords, but she should start acting in the interests of this country, rather than simply in the interests of the Conservative party, which has scared her away from making the right decision today.

Photo of Nicholas Soames Nicholas Soames Conservative, Mid Sussex 4:52 pm, 30th January 2014

I think that that was the worst Third Reading speech I have ever heard from a shadow Home Secretary. To describe my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary as being afraid was truly incredible.

I should like to start by putting the Bill in its proper context. Under the last Government, the level of migration was unprecedented and hugely unpopular with the public, and it has led to an unacceptably rapidly growing population. This Government have carried out sensible reforms for work, study and family migration in the face of fierce lobbying from vested interests, and they have done that with the wholehearted support of the Conservative party and the coalition. On that they should be congratulated. The Immigration Bill builds on that good work. Whatever Yvette Cooper says, there is no doubt that it represents a big step forward and deals with major issues.

Any well-functioning immigration system needs to tackle illegal immigration. Given the nature of the system, however, we simply do not know how many illegal immigrants are here. Let me give the House an example. We issue more than 1.5 million visit visas each year, but we do not know how many of those people leave at the end of their visit. If just 1% overstay, that will mean that an additional 15,000 people remain here illegally every year.

With respect to accessing public services, the outstanding business of the first importance relates to controlling access to the national health service. Although the Bill is important and achieves a great deal, there remains the first-order business of dealing with that access. I would be pleased if the Government were to have another look at the question of whether people should gain access to the NHS only on production of an identity card to show that they were entitled to use the services. Having said that, the Bill represents a welcome step and it will go a long way towards building a robust immigration system. I commend it to the House.

Photo of Mary Glindon Mary Glindon Labour, North Tyneside 4:54 pm, 30th January 2014

I want to address an issue that has not been covered today—I had hoped to address it when we discussed the new clauses tabled by my party. It is the issue of migrant workers who are legitimately in this country. A number of them were discovered at the former Swan Hunter site at Wallsend. They were living there in unsafe conditions. I pursued the issue and discovered that a local engineering company had hired them through an employment agency in Romania. It was a legitimate situation, because, under the law, temporary workers are allowed to work for a number of months in this country. However, what I did unearth, via the UK Border Agency, was that some of those workers were on permanent contract.

I inquired at the jobcentre whether the jobs, which the company maintained they could not fill with local workers, could have been taken by welders. Everyone knows that the north-east, especially an area such as mine, is awash with people who have welding skills and who were employed in the former heavy industries. The jobcentre confirmed that there were in fact more than enough unemployed workers who could take the jobs. Not only were these east European workers living in unsafe conditions, but they were probably being paid less than the minimum wage and the going rate for that job.

Subsequently, the building in which the workers were living was brought up to scratch. After speaking to the employment agency in Romania about the workers on permanent contracts who should not have been here, the UK Border Agency allowed it to change the contracts to temporary contracts. Although people in Wallsend felt sorry for those workers who were living in such bad conditions, they were upset that they were coming over and being paid less for the work than skilled people in the area. I am sorry that we were not able to discuss those issues further or the new clauses proposed by those on the Labour Front Bench.

Photo of Julian Huppert Julian Huppert Liberal Democrat, Cambridge 4:57 pm, 30th January 2014

It has been an unusual debate. I am pleased that we have avoided too many of the more worrying amendments that might have crept in. We have managed not to have proposals that would contravene the European convention on human rights. I was disappointed that Conservative Ministers were not prepared to back their own Government legislation and the convention. I am proud that the Liberal Democrats stood up for Government policy in this area.

We did have a debate about citizenship deprivation. It is a great shame that the shadow Home Secretary and the vast majority of her colleagues simply sat on their hands on this important issue. I pay tribute to those Labour Members who rebelled with many of us to oppose that.

It is a shame that we did not have chance to discuss many other amendments. I wanted to explore further issues to do with students, the NHS charges and asylum support and helping some of the most destitute in our country. It is a great shame that we did not manage to get there.

I do not think that this Bill is the important thing about immigration. There is the rhetoric. The way that both the Conservatives and Labour seem to be following the UK Independence party drive is incredibly damaging in this country. We see that too much. That is not what we should have: we should be proud of the benefits of immigration. The important point is the Home Office and the Border Agency, as was, and their competence in making decisions promptly and correctly. The Minister has done some very good work on that but until it is sorted the public will not have the assurance they need. We need our exit checks and we need decisions to be made promptly and fairly so that everybody knows where they are.

Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Labour, Islington North 4:58 pm, 30th January 2014

I will vote against the Bill on Third Reading for a large number of reasons. We have ordained that the Home Secretary will have executive power to take away citizenship in the future and to create a generation of stateless people. The handing over of that power is, I think, a very dangerous thing for any Parliament to do.

We have a number of other serious concerns about the Bill, such as those covered in the points raised by my hon. Friend John McDonnell about the forced removal of people; the death of Jimmy Mubenga, which was mentioned by Sarah Teather; the use of the detention system; the denial of health care access; the problems of forcing landlords to become agents of the Home Office; and the reality of life for those people who have legitimately sought asylum in

Britain and are starving on the streets of our cities because we do not have a system in place to give them proper support. The Bill does not answer any of those problems. It is based on prejudice and headline chasing and has nothing to do with the real needs of people who are desperately seeking support, help and assistance rather than the cold behaviour shown by the Government today.

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel Conservative, Witham 4:59 pm, 30th January 2014

I pay tribute to the Home Secretary and my hon. Friend the Minister for Immigration for introducing the Bill and introducing important and positive measures to—

Debate interrupted (Programme Order, 22 October).

The Deputy Speaker put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair (Standing Order No. 83E), That the Bill be now read the Third time.

The House divided:

Ayes 295, Noes 16.

Division number 201 Immigration Bill — Third Reading

A majority of MPs voted for a series of immigration measures including greater removal and enforcement powers, restrictions on the detention of children, the introduction of powers to levy an NHS charge on some of those seeking to enter the UK, and measures to prevent those not legally present in the UK renting properties and obtaining driving licenses.

Aye: 295 MPs

No: 16 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Absent: 334 MPs

Absents: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time and passed.