Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:30 pm on 25th November 2008.

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Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism) 8:30 pm, 25th November 2008

My Lords, as I understand it, the problem is that that would open up this issue to a raft of other areas. We would burst into masses of independent people being sponsors rather than an organisation doing it. For example, footballers coming to this country are sponsored by the Football Association, not by Leeds United, Birmingham City, or some other club. It would open up that problem. Having said that, I do not know whether anything has come from the meetings today. I am aware of the difficulties. We have been in consultation with UUK for two years. The noble Baroness, Lady Sharp, said that the UKBA had been fairly intransigent, but there has been give and take, and an option was put forward about which we have not had an answer. There has been dialogue, and I hope we can achieve something there.