Immigration, Nationality and Asylum (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:09 pm on 18th March 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister for Equalities (Department for International Development) 6:09 pm, 18th March 2019

My Lords, delivering a deal with the EU remains the Government’s priority. We are nevertheless preparing for a range of scenarios.

UK domestic law has given effect to our obligations in the fields of immigration, nationality and asylum arising from our membership of the European Union. The UK has also been subject to directly effective EU law. When we leave the EU, aspects of our legislation and retained direct EU law will fail to operate effectively. They will contain deficiencies if they are not modified or revoked by this instrument.

These regulations make changes to a range of domestic primary and secondary legislation to prevent, remedy or mitigate deficiencies in law arising from the UK’s exit from the EU. They ensure that our statute book operates on exit day if the UK leaves the EU without a deal until new legislation on these issues is commenced.

First, the instrument makes technical changes required to correct wording in our legislation that describes the UK in terms of our membership of the EU or European Economic Area. The changes do not alter the effect of the legislation. Similarly, it also makes technical amendments to domestic legislation that refer to EU rights that are retained by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

Secondly, this instrument revokes relevant retained EU legislation relating to immigration. It also revokes a number of instruments which give effect to the UK’s membership of the EU asylum acquis and which will be inoperable on exit. This is because by leaving the EU, the UK also leaves the asylum acquis. The order therefore revokes the Dublin regulation and the Eurodac regulation—that is where I got up to last time.

The instrument makes a number of transitional and saving provisions in relation to the measures being amended by it. This is so that the amendments do not have an inappropriate effect in respect of decisions or other action taken before their commencement.

Finally, this instrument applies the UK rules for criminality to EEA, Swiss and Turkish nationals; the amendment applies only to their conduct after exit. Our intention to apply the same rules to new arrivals, irrespective of the country from which they come, has already been announced by my right honourable friend the Home Secretary.

The Government believe that we must plan for every eventuality, including a no- deal scenario. Through introducing this instrument, they are taking practical steps to ensure that the UK statute book operates effectively on exit in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

This instrument will prevent deficiencies in immigration and asylum law arising from the UK leaving the EU. It ensures continuity until the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill allows the Government to introduce the new future borders and immigration system. I beg to move.