Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:30 pm on 6th July 2004.

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Photo of Lord McNally Lord McNally Shadow Minister (Broadcasting), Culture, Media & Sport, Deputy Leader, House of Lords 2:30 pm, 6th July 2004

My Lords, it is always a delight to hear a Rooker reply because it is always in three movements. The noble Lord comes out swinging punches at anyone who is available. Then he attacks the Tories. After that the noble Lord feels much better and then gives us some facts to chew over. That response was a perfect example.

I have watched the progress of this issue since I entered the House nearly 10 years ago and I have seen Ministers from both sides trying to grapple with the Rubic cube that is immigration and asylum policy. I am sure that when the day comes—which is perhaps not far off—that a Liberal Democrat is at that Dispatch Box, he or she will be agonising over the same problem. The main point is that whatever has happened in the past the message is that we must do better: we must raise quality and look at best practice in other countries; for example, if the Canadians have a system that seems to work better than ours, we should have a look at it to see if could be applied here.

However, I appreciate the constructive nature of the Minister's third movement and I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.