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Immigration Bill

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 2:32 pm on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Home Secretary 2:32 pm, 13th October 2015

No, I am going to make some progress.

The other measure that we support in the Bill is the requirement for all front-line public service staff to speak fluent English, which of course is a sensible proposal. However, I believe that, in legislating on these matters, we all have a responsibility to bear in mind at all times that this is the most difficult and sensitive of policy areas. Unlike other issues that we debate in this House, this one has the potential to cause real harm and strife in our communities.

We will support the Government when they get the balance right, but I want to be clear about what we will not do. We will not support legislation that is introduced in haste or that is not backed up by clear evidence. That is the problem with the Bill. Parts of it appear to have been drafted on the same beer mat and in the same pub as the Home Secretary’s speech to the Conservative party conference in Manchester. It is legislation driven by a desire to be seen to be doing something and to get headlines.