Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:13 pm on 2nd May 2018.

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Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Conservative, Corby 4:13 pm, 2nd May 2018

I agree with that analysis, and the approach that has been adopted is disappointing. It seems to me that Ministers are thoroughly engaging with the Home Affairs Committee anyway, and were engaging properly with the Committee before the motion was even tabled.

I want to touch on immigration policy and will start by saying that, of course—I have made this point previously and I make it again—the Windrush generation and members of that generation should never, ever have been caught up in the measures that have, in the end, affected them. I come at the issue of immigration policy as someone who campaigned in the referendum to leave and as someone who, yes, wants to see control, but also wants fairness in our immigration policy. I think fairness is the more important point.

If we asked my constituents in Corby and east Northamptonshire, they would say that a common-sense immigration policy is one that treats people equally, regardless of where they come from in the world, and treats people the same whether they come from the Caribbean, the subcontinent or the European Union. That is where I would like to get to at the end of this Brexit process. That is the immigration policy that I would like to see, obviously with a big consideration of the skills that are required in our economy as part of it.

But let me also say that we have to deal with illegal immigration robustly and properly. Of course we have to deal with it humanely and speedily, but the main reason we have to deal with it thoroughly, properly and robustly is that if we do not do so, it penalises those who come here legally, follow the rules and go through the right route.

To my mind, we must, first and foremost, put right what has gone wrong—no ifs, no buts. As one House, we should all be united in that resolve.