Clause 82 - Commencement

Nationality and Borders Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:45 pm on 8th December 2021.

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Votes in this debate

Amendments made: 85, page 79, line 21, leave out “This Part and”.

This amendment, and Amendment 86, make minor drafting changes needed as a result of Amendment 87.

Amendment 86, page 79, line 25, leave out paragraph (b) and insert—

“(b) this Part.”

See statement for Amendment 85.

Amendment 87, page 79, line 26, at end insert—

“(3A) The following provisions come into force on the day on which this Act is passed for the purposes of making (and, where required, consulting on) regulations—

(a) section 13 (requirement to make asylum claim at “designated place”);

(b) section 26 (accelerated detained appeals);

(c) section 41 and Schedule 4 (penalty for failure to secure goods vehicle etc);

(d) section 42 (working in United Kingdom waters: arrival and entry);

(e) section 49 (persons subject to immigration control: referral or age assessment by local authority);

(f) section 51 (regulations about use of scientific methods in age assessments);

(g) section 52 (regulations about age assessments);

(h) section 68 (interpretation of Part 5);

(i) section 77 (pre-consolidation amendments of immigration legislation).”

This amendment brings powers in the Bill to make regulations into force on Royal Assent, so that the regulations can be prepared in advance of the substantive provisions being commenced. The regulations themselves will not be commenced for at least two months after Royal Assent.

Amendment 88, page 79, line 38, leave out paragraph (g).

This amendment is consequential on Amendment 87.

Amendment 89, page 79, line 42, leave out paragraphs (j) and (k).

This amendment is consequential on Amendment 87.

Amendment 90, page 80, line 3, leave out paragraph (n).—(Rachel Maclean.)

This amendment is consequential on Amendment 87.

Third Reading

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department 3:51 pm, 8th December 2021

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

Madam Deputy Speaker, may I echo your remarks—

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. May I echo your remarks—[Interruption.]

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. It is appalling that we have seen these delaying tactics today.

This Bill introduces the most significant overhaul of our asylum system in over two decades, and it is a shame that Members of this House have brought in these delaying tactics today to prevent this debate. Our Bill will bring in a new, comprehensive, fair but firm long-term plan that seeks to address the challenge of illegal migration head on. Illegal immigration is facilitated by serious organised criminals exploiting people and profiting from human misery.

Photo of Lee Anderson Lee Anderson Conservative, Ashfield

I am sure my right hon. Friend will agree that this is the most important piece of legislation to be passed since I was elected in 2019. Does she also agree that the disgraceful tactic of hiding in the toilets used by the rabble opposite to delay democracy is an attack on democracy? You should be ashamed, the lot of you!

Hon. Members::

Hear, hear!

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I will not give way further, so that Yvette Cooper can have some time. The Back Benchers have debated this Bill already.

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

No I will not, because I want to give the right hon. Lady a chance to speak in the debate and quite frankly, other Members on the Opposition Benches have already delayed the debate.

Illegal immigration is facilitated by serious organised criminals exploiting people and profiting from human misery. Illegal migration is counter to our national interests, because those criminal gangs and networks are also responsible for other illicit activity including those involving drugs, firearms and serious violence. If left unchecked, it is a risk to our country and our national interests. Illegal migration is counter to our moral interests, because it means that people are put into the hands of ruthless criminals, which we want to stop because it endangers lives. By facilitating illegal entry via unsafe means such as boats, lorries and sealed shipping containers—

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

I will not give way, because I want to leave some time for the right hon. Member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford. The hon. Gentleman would have had time to contribute from the Back Benches during the debate on Report.

Families and young children have lost their lives at sea and in lorries and containers because they put their trust in the people traffickers. The challenge is not unique to the United Kingdom, but we as a Government are seeking to address these issues in a responsible way, because they have been neglected for far too long. Let us not forget that the British public are angered by what they see. The British people are fair and generous when it comes to helping those in need—[Interruption.]

If I may, hon. Members have had hours to debate this Bill. They are screaming and using delaying tactics because they lack the solutions to these problems, and we are going to put fundamental reforms into statute.

The reality is that the system is broken. It has been open to gaming and criminal exploitation, and we are compelled to act with the simple principle of fairness. We are the only Government who will bring forward a balanced Bill. We are bringing forward a legislative framework that is firm and fair, prioritising those in genuine need. We will have powers to stop illegal entry and to break the business model of the evil people smugglers, who will face life in prison, which is something all Opposition Members have opposed completely.

We will bring in tough new sentences—maximum life sentences—for people smugglers and facilitators. There will be new rules to stop unscrupulous people posing as children, and there will be stronger enforcement powers for Border Force. Importantly, those who travel through a safe country should claim asylum in that safe country, rather than asylum shopping in the way we see right now.

Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means, Chair, Standing Orders (Private Bills) Committee (Commons), Chair, Standing Orders (Private Bills) Committee (Commons)

Order. Sit down. The Home Secretary does not have time to take interventions, neither will the shadow Home Secretary, because time has been wasted by the Members on the SNP Benches. Stay in your seat.

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

They do not like hearing the fact that this Government will seek to rapidly remove those with no legal right to be in the UK. We are establishing a fast-track appeal process and streamlining the appeal system, making it quicker to remove failed asylum seekers and dangerous foreign criminals, the very people they would like to keep in this country. We will tackle the practice of meritless last-minute claims and appeals that clog up the courts, which is a fundamental unfairness that, by the way, even the legal profession says has been frustrating it for too long because the justice system has been gamed. We will protect the rights of modern-day slavery victims, too.

On that basis, we will bring in a fundamental change. The Opposition have had a chance to back the Bill, and they have chosen not to back the Bill. They want open borders, and they would encourage more people smuggling and more dangerous crossings that would compromise our national interest and our public safety. Our opponents have no answers to this Bill, and we are the ones who want to control illegal migration. We want to take back control of our borders. Many Opposition Members have written letters opposing the deportation of murderers and rapists. [Interruption.] They can say they have not, but they have.

This Bill will bring in fundamental reform, and I commend it to the House.

Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department 3:58 pm, 8th December 2021

Unfortunately, what we have just had is a lot of rhetoric and slogans, not solutions, on such a serious issue. Two years ago, the Home Secretary promised she had a plan to halve within three months the number of boats crossing the channel. Instead, the number has gone up tenfold since then, as criminal gangs have switched to using flimsy boats instead. She said she was confident that her plan would lead to a considerable reduction in illegal activity. Instead, those smugglers and traffickers are making more and more profit as lives are being lost.

Far from cracking down on the criminal gangs and the smugglers, this Bill makes things worse. The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and former top police chief, Sara Thornton, has warned the Government repeatedly that the policies in this Bill will severely limit our ability to convict perpetrators and dismantle organised crime groups. I can tell the Home Secretary that the Labour party will not support letting vile people traffickers and criminal gangs off the hook in the way that she is prepared to do.

In November, 27 people died in the cold English channel. We need solutions and co-operation to try to tackle the smuggler gangs who are making a profit from people losing their lives. We need the safe and legal routes that the Home Secretary has promised and not delivered. The Afghan soldier who worked with our armed forces and arrived by boat with his family just a few weeks ago to claim asylum should never have ended up in a dinghy on the channel. The security co-operation just is not happening. The Home Secretary has failed to go to the heart of the criminal gangs’ business model, which is all around social media, and she has failed to back the measures that we proposed yesterday.

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

Division number 143 Nationality and Borders Bill — Clause 82 - Commencement

Aye: 297 MPs

No: 229 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name


Nos: A-Z by last name


The House divided: Ayes 298, Noes 231.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time and passed.