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

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:47 pm on 28th January 2019.

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Photo of Angus MacNeil Angus MacNeil Chair, International Trade Committee 7:47 pm, 28th January 2019

I was only going to make a couple of points, but as I have listened to the debate, the number of points has grown. I shall kick off by correcting, or perhaps taking on—I do this on migration quite a lot—Mrs Badenoch. I was very disappointed by the remarks of the hon. Lady, who is not in her place, and the sort of reverse dog whistle when she looked at the SNP Benches. She should be aware that the first ethnic minority Member of the Scottish Parliament was Bashir Ahmad of the SNP, that the first Government Minister in the devolved Scottish Government was Humza Yousaf of the SNP, and that the first Muslim woman from Scotland to be an MP was Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh of the SNP. I merely put that on record so that people such as the hon. Member for Saffron Walden do not repeat that sort of nonsense again.

This immigration debate is an interesting one. It is not a debate about what we want or what we could do; it is a debate about what we can stop, what we can control and what we can limit, and that is very disappointing. There is actually something really akin to the Soviet central planning of the 1920s onwards: we have Soviet tractor statistics. That is really the sort of theology that is driving this current Home Office—centralised planning and red tape, with Government at the heart of people’s lives and building bureaucracy where there is no bureaucracy at the moment. All the time, what the Government will do is increase the work in MPs’ offices up and down the country as a result of the nonsense we are going to have.