Amendment 28

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - Report (3rd Day) – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 6th October 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Hamwee Baroness Hamwee Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Immigration) 6:15 pm, 6th October 2020

My Lords, on the first day of Report, on an equivalent amendment to Clause 4, the Minister gave an assurance that the Government have absolutely no intention of acting incompatibly with the citizens’ rights provisions in the withdrawal agreement. However, as the noble Lord, Lord Flight, has said, that is not the point. He set out very carefully the social security provisions which are the issue here. The concern is that the use of regulations, or secondary legislation, to modify the primary legislation that is the basis of the various benefits could wittingly or unwittingly modify them—“modify” is a polite legislative word for “cause a lot of people a lot of problems”. If this amendment were part of the Bill, it would protect against this.

Last week, the noble Lord referred to the establishment under the 2020 Act of the Independent Monitoring Authority, and I was grateful for that. I share a rather wry smile with noble Lords because provided for in the authority’s powers is that it may make applications for judicial review—we all know the Government’s expressed position on activists and lawyers using applications for judicial review and generally not liking frequent resort being made to them. There is of course a review of the use of judicial review going on at the moment. So I thank the noble Lord for that moment of amusement in this complicated area. I support the amendment.