Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:00 pm on 10th October 2002.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Bassam of Brighton Lord Bassam of Brighton Government Whip, Government Whip 7:00 pm, 10th October 2002

My Lords, I accept that; I may have been thinking back to the first time that we discussed the issue, when the words "legal advice" were, I think, used. I understand exactly the point that the noble Lord, Lord Dholakia, has made, but other noble Lords have mentioned the need to ensure that legal advice is available at this stage. We are saying that access to advice—legal advice and other forms of advice such as healthcare advice—will be made available through the induction programme process. This amendment is the wrong way to achieve that objective. We are arguing quite firmly that it is unnecessary to impose this obligation at this stage.

The induction programme is very much separate from that process. The induction programme is meant to open up and provide access to all the other services, including advice, that we feel that asylum seekers will need, so that they can be assisted as they go towards the decision-making process. I hope that I have persuaded your Lordships that it is unnecessary to pursue the amendment at this stage.