Foreign National Offenders (Exclusion from the United Kingdom) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:03 pm on 6th March 2015.

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Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough 1:03 pm, 6th March 2015

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

As I said in the debate on my previous Bill, I will try to be brief, because there are many other Bills that we want to deal with today. I am grateful to the excellent Minister for Security and Immigration for being here.

This is only a two-clause Bill, but it is perhaps slightly more controversial than the one on getting rid of wind farm subsidies. The idea is straightforward: if someone comes to this country, commits an offence and is given a term of imprisonment, at the end of that term of imprisonment they should be deported to the country that they came from. That should be done quickly, and they should not be allowed back. People in my constituency and up and down the country are furious when people who come to this country legally, and receive our hospitality, commit an offence and then remain here. It seems wrong that they should do so.

The Government have been very good—I am sure the Minister will speak about this—at taking certain foreign prisoners back to where they came from. My Bill extends the rules to include countries to which foreign prisoners cannot at the moment be returned. I particularly refer to countries in the European Union. Under my Bill, once foreign prisoners were sent back to the European Union, they would not have the right to come back. They would be removed without reference to any human rights legislation. It is rather important that I read part of clause 1(1), so that the House understands this:

“Notwithstanding any provision of the European Communities Act 1972, or any other enactment”.

This is a very simple Bill. It will say that this Government are sovereign, and absolutely have the right to return home foreign prisoners who have committed an offence and are jailed. When they are sent back, they will be banned from coming back to this country. That is in clause 1(2), which refers to

“measures to prevent an individual excluded under subsection (1) from entering the United Kingdom.”

Where the law permits the removal of foreign prisoners, the Government are keen to do that, and they have done a lot of work on it; but when the Minister speaks, I think that we will find that, for various reasons, their desire to return foreign prisoners to where they came from is thwarted. Much of that is to do with human rights legislation. All the Bill does is remove that hurdle and deal with migration from the European Union. If someone who committed an offence in this country was sent back to the European Union, they would not be allowed back in.

Those are simple measures that are understood out in the country. I hope that this is the sort of thing that will be dealt with when, after the 2015 election, a Conservative majority Government renegotiate the European Union superstate. I hope that the idea that we can decide to send people back and not let them back in will be a red line.