UK Borders Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 27th February 2007.

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Witness

Tuesday 27th February

Until no later than 1.00 p.m.

Home Office

Tuesday 27th February

Until no later than 5.30 p.m.

Immigration Law Practitioners Association

Tuesday 27th February

Until no later than 6.30 p.m.

Immigration Advisory Service

Thursday 1st March

Until no later than 9.40 a.m.

National Car Parks

Thursday 1st March

Until no later than 10.25 a.m.

Trades Union Congress; Transport and General Workers’ Union

Thursday 1st March

Until no later than 2.30 p.m.

Professor Ross Anderson, Cambridge University; Phil Booth, National Coordinator, NO2ID

Thursday 1st March

Until no later than 3.30 p.m.

Liberty

Thursday 1st March

Until no later than 5.00 p.m.

Additional witnesses to be decided by the Committee

(3) proceedings on consideration of the Bill in Committee shall be taken in the following order: Clauses 1 to 43; Schedule; Clauses 44 to 46; new Clauses; new Schedules; remaining proceedings on the Bill;

(4) the proceedings shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at 4.30 p.m. on Thursday 22nd March.

It is a privilege to serve under your chairmanship, Mr. Illsley. I am proud to be one of the first Ministers to be asked to give oral evidence in this constitutional innovation of public evidence sessions preceding our debates on the Bill over the weeks to come. I should also like to thank all members of the Committee in advance for taking part, not just in the debates but in the oral evidence sessions.

The purpose of the Bill is to strengthen our UK borders and our fight against illegal immigration, however it manifests itself. This Bill does not sit on its own. It sits as part of a comprehensive package of reform, which includes a different kind of cross-government strategy to tackle illegal immigration; additional resources to tackle illegal immigration; the use of new technology, including technology to count people in and count people out of the country; and stronger international alliances to tackle illegal immigration. This Bill, the fifth element of that package, provides additional powers for our front-line officers to tackle illegal immigration too.

We have a good range of witnesses in the Committee sittings this week. The usual channels have worked hard to ensure that there is a good balance. We have sought to ensure that the Committee has the benefit of a number of different perspectives, not just from those with a legal training, but from trade union representatives who have particular arguments to make about how we manage immigration and illegal immigration. There is also a wide range of additional witnesses. Although we have not been able to programme them for this week, it is in the Committee’s gift to call them during the course of our proceedings in the weeks to come. I ask the Committee to support the programme motion.