UK Borders Bill

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

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Photo of Damian Green Damian Green Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 10:30 am, 27th February 2007

I echo the Minister’s welcome to you, Mr. Illsley, not just to the Chair of the Committee but to the journey of discovery that I suspect we are on, certainly until we get to grips with the welcome innovation of allowing Committees to question not just Ministers—which will no doubt be entertaining—but expert witnesses from outside. The Minister has set out what he intends to happen with the Bill. It is already clear from the submissions to the Committee by those who are going to give oral evidence, and by many others, that our serious reservations about parts of the Bill are shared by experts in the field. There are clearly deep reservations about this across the spectrum, so the sessions will be useful in that we will be able to hear about them in detail from a large number of witnesses. The amendment is also down in my name and in that of my hon. Friend the Member for Reigate. We support the idea of hearing witnesses from the Refugee Children’s Consortium as at this stage of the Bill.