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Immigration Bill

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 2:06 pm on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Secretary of State for the Home Department 2:06 pm, 13th October 2015

I think I have answered the hon. Gentleman’s question, and I did say I was going to make some progress after I had responded to his intervention.

We have already begun to target illegal working through a co-ordinated approach that brings together agencies from across Government to prevent illegal working in high-risk sectors. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Immigration met industry leaders from the construction industry this morning to identify how we can work together to root out that particular problem.

Part 2 of the Bill is about access to services. We will tighten up access to public and other services to protect them from abuse by people who are here illegally. We have already introduced a requirement for landlords to check the immigration status of prospective tenants. It is only right for people to be able to access private accommodation if they are in the UK legally. That is only fair on people who play by the rules, who scrimp and save to buy their first home, and who come here legally and work hard. I hope that that is a point on which all Members of the House can agree. That is why we intend to roll the requirement out across the UK. However, the immigration status of a current tenant is not enough to allow a landlord to regain possession of his or her property. The Bill will remedy that legislative gap and make it easier for private landlords to evict people who have no right to be in the UK.

We will also create new criminal offences to target rogue landlords who repeatedly fail to carry out checks or take steps to remove people who are here illegally. Let me be clear that this is not about asking landlords to become immigration experts. Those who want to undertake simple steps will have nothing to fear and will not face prosecution or penalties.

We will also build on our measures to prevent people from driving while in the UK illegally. Historically, it has been far too easy for people illegally in the UK to obtain a UK driving licence and that is why, as I mentioned earlier, we created new powers under the 2014 Act to revoke UK driving licences belonging to people who were here illegally.