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Immigration Bill

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 6:28 pm on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Craig Mackinlay Craig Mackinlay Conservative, South Thanet 6:28 pm, 13th October 2015

I have not misunderstood the hon. Lady at all. It comes down to this. A person with an illegal licence, or no licence at all, has no insurance. I therefore welcome the new six-month sentence for summary offences, and the imprisonable offence of driving with a revoked licence.

I also warmly support the changes in banking arrangements. Under the 2014 Act, the law on the illegal holding of a bank account has applied only to new accounts, and I am pleased that it is to be extended to all accounts.

As I have not much time left, let me end by saying something about the rights of the first-tier tribunal, which has had the power to impose electronic monitoring tags under the common law presumption of the right to bail. I would not want to interfere with the judiciary, but my guess is that that power has been used in fairly limited circumstances, and I therefore welcome the power that the Bill gives the Secretary of State to allow increased use of electronic tags. Unfortunately, the current electronic tags involve 1970s technology, and the fulfilment of our manifesto commitment to start using proper satellite tracking technology—no different from what we all have in our telephones—will be useful in ensuring that illegal overstayers are found. I should like electronic and satellite tracking technology to be used in tagging generally, throughout the criminal justice system.

It is sensible to simplify things by replacing the six different legal statuses of immigration—whether we are talking about immigration bail or temporary admission—with a single status. I warmly support the words of my hon. Friends the Members for Bedford (Richard Fuller) and for Harrow East (Bob Blackman), because this is about compassion for those who come here properly and do the right thing. This is a step in the right direction.

Several hon. Members rose