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Immigration Bill

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 4:19 pm on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Conservative, Pendle 4:19 pm, 13th October 2015

I think that the measures outlined in the Bill represent an important step forward. A series of measures have been introduced under this Government, as the Home Secretary set out today. The Bill takes us a step further in the right direction. The people who pay the highest cost and who are the most vulnerable and exploited are the migrants themselves—it is the gangmasters and criminals who are making the money and profiteering —so we must have them at the centre of everything we do. I feel—the hon. Lady might disagree—that the Government’s approach is right. The Bill helps to fulfil the Conservative party’s manifesto commitment to introduce tougher labour market regulations to tackle illegal working and exploitation.

I conclude by briefly paying tribute to Lancashire police for the excellent work they are doing to protect people from the sort of criminal activity I have been talking about. The team is gearing up for its human trafficking week of action later this month, and it is also holding an anti-slavery day over the weekend. Lancashire police are working with immigration agencies to educate businesses that might be linked to illegal employment and to enforce the current rules. I strongly welcome the work of our dedicated police officers and immigration officials. I welcome just as strongly the tough measures contained in the Bill, which are necessary to ensure that vulnerable people in Pendle are protected from exploitation and that those who make use of illegal workers feel the full force of the law.