Report (1st Day)

Part of Immigration Bill – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 1st April 2014.

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Photo of Lord Rosser Lord Rosser Shadow Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Transport) 3:45 pm, 1st April 2014

My Lords, we will listen with interest to the Minister’s response to my noble friend Lord Judd’s amendments, which he put across with the decency and humanity we all associate with him. The government amendments make concessions on a number of issues, which we and others, and the Joint Committee on Human Rights and the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, have made during the passage of this Bill through both Houses. The Minister has indicated the purpose of the government amendments, one of which seeks to make clear that all family members will be given prior notice of their liability for removal. Will the Minister confirm the position on the minimum period of prior notice that will be given in that instance?

Clause 1 provides a power for the Secretary of State or an immigration officer to authorise the removal of a person who,

“requires leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom but does not have it”,

or their family members as well. Subsection (6) provides a power for the Secretary of State to make regulations regarding,

“the removal of family members”.

As we know, the Government’s stance up to now, which continues to be the case, is that the regulations would be made by statutory instrument but that they would be subject to the negative procedure. We remain of the view that the affirmative procedure is justified. We are disappointed that the regulations under what will become Section 10(6) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 will not be subject to the affirmative procedure.

I was going to go on to refer to the comments made by the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee in its latest report, which was published yesterday. The report reiterated the committee’s view that the power should be subject to the affirmative procedure. The Minister, probably with a view to seeking to address the concerns expressed by the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, has indicated that the Government will be bringing forward, if I understood him correctly, an amendment at Third Reading. He mentioned that it would address the concern that the committee had over the words “in particular”, which the committee commented on in its report. I assume that the amendment that the Government will put down at Third Reading will seek to address the concern expressed by the committee.

For our part, we want to see what that amendment is before making up our minds about whether we find it acceptable or not. Certainly, our position is that the regulations ought to be subject to the affirmative procedure for the kinds of reasons that were given by the Delegated Powers Committee, but we will see what the Government’s amendment says and whether that addresses the concerns that we too have on that particular issue.