Immigration and Social Security Co-Ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:59 pm on 28th January 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control) 5:59 pm, 28th January 2019

It is always nice to start with a note of consensus, so let me say that I agree that we need an immigration Bill and I welcome the one solitary clause in relation to Irish nationals. Sadly, that is where the consensus ends. Let me say unequivocally that the Scottish National party opposes the Second Reading of the Bill.

There is so much wrong with the UK immigration system that needs fixing, but this Bill will not fix anything; in fact, it will make things much worse. The UK immigration system is built on the flawed twin pillars of a ludicrous net migration target and an obnoxious hostile environment policy exposed in all its nastiness by the Windrush scandal. That scandal is yet to be adequately and fully investigated or resolved. Meanwhile, the chief inspector of borders and immigration points out that the Home Office makes no effort to measure the effects of the hostile environment, but we know that turning NHS workers, landlords and bank staff into border guards has had terrible implications for too many people. This Bill does not end the ludicrous net migration target or the hostile environment; instead it will see more people ensnared by both.

We have the disgraceful situation of being alone in Europe in insisting that indefinite detention is perfectly okay simply for immigration purposes. Report after report flags up the terrible effect it has on detainees, yet there is nothing in this Bill to fix it.