Foreign National Offenders (Exclusion from the United Kingdom) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:19 pm on 6th March 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration) 1:19 pm, 6th March 2015

I congratulate my hon. Friend Mr Bone on moving the Second Reading of his Bill today. I understand and share his desire to be firm in respect of foreign nationals who come to this country and commit crime, abuse our hospitality and create risk in our communities.

This Government have been firm in several ways in making changes to the law and to the process—the manner in which we go about dealing with these issues. We have other initiatives in policing and within the Home Office. We are also working cross-Government in doing our utmost, with other countries, to deal with documentation issues to make sure that identity is established and that foreign national offenders are returned having served their sentences. I entirely understand the points that my hon. Friend makes. In dealing with his Bill, I intend to set in context the changes that have been undertaken, their ongoing impact, and the focus that remains absolutely at the forefront of our minds in Government in seeing that more foreign national offenders are removed from this country.

I must firmly rebut a number of the accusations made by Jack Dromey. Labour in government created a system mired in bureaucracy where foreign national offenders were not considered appropriately, with systems established under the legacy UK Border Agency that were not fit for purpose. It therefore ill behoves him to suggest that there is any lack of rigour, focus or determination on the part of this Government to assure our borders and to ensure that we have the appropriate checks in place to deal with the very serious issue of foreign national offenders.