Motion E1 (as an amendment to Motion E)

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - Commons Reasons – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 21st October 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Hamwee Baroness Hamwee Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Immigration) 5:30 pm, 21st October 2020

My Lords, it is rare for a campaign to take off in the way that the call for physical proof has done. The Government have made their arguments over a number of stages and those who have been calling for this have not been satisfied—they certainly have been following what is going on. I regret that the Minister in the Commons did not address the issue but, apart from the standard financial privilege response, said that the issue had been debated many times. Yes, it has, but no one seems to have changed their position.

The Government again seem more concerned about not appearing to draw back from their policy of digital by default. Accepting the amendment tabled by my noble friend would not be a failure on the part of the Government because it would not be a failure to acknowledge that changes like this to the system take time, as the Australians have found. It would actually be a success to respond to public feeling and not to treat our EU friends in the UK as a convenient test phase for all-out digital. I hope that the House will support my noble friend.