Immigration (EAC Report)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:50 pm on 14th November 2008.

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Photo of Lord Wakeham Lord Wakeham Conservative 3:50 pm, 14th November 2008

My Lords, I thank everyone who has taken part in this debate—particularly the right reverend Prelate, who we heard for the first time. His speech was excellent. In my time in the House we have had several distinguished Bishops from Lincoln, and it seems to me that they have managed to keep the standard up with our new Member. I am delighted about that.

I said in my opening remarks that this debate was likely to be controversial, and indeed it was. The only concession I will make to that is to say that if we had tackled a different subject, or we had tackled wider aspects of the subject that we did, or we had tackled it over a longer period than we did, we might have produced a different report. But we did not do that, for the simple reason that we consider that our position in this House is to give advice to the Government that we hope might have some effect on policy for the future. That is what I think Select Committees should do.

Having listened to the helpful reply from the Minister, I hope he does not mind if I say that he reminded me a little of an admiral putting up a massive smokescreen while the Government reorganise themselves with slightly different policies from the ones they had not so long ago. I am grateful to him for his contribution to the debate, as I am to everyone. Although the Government have today accepted only part of what we said, I have a feeling that by the time of the next election they will have accepted considerably more.