Clause 16

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 13th March 2007.

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Photo of Joan Ryan Joan Ryan Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 12:45 pm, 13th March 2007

I accept that it is broad, but I do not accept that it is too open-ended. As I said, we shall move on to respond to the amendments and will, I hope, give the reassurance that the hon. Gentleman is seeking.

I opened my remarks by saying that there is no inconsistency between our approach here and the overall approach in section 3 of the ImmigrationAct 1971, which we are amending. The 1971 Act provides three conditions that can be applied to limited leave, with no restriction on what groups within the limited leave category we can apply them to. Equally, I said that we thought that a light touch was appropriate so that we can be flexible. If circumstances change, we will be able to use the conditions as and when they are appropriate.

Amendment No. 25 would require that

“any condition imposed upon residence must be reasonable in all circumstances”.

The Human Rights Act 1998 makes it unlawful for public authorities to act in a way that is incompatible with convention rights. There is also a general legal requirement on public authorities to exercise their powers in a reasonable way. That will apply to the new powers in clause 16. It is perfectly reasonable to ask that we apply our powers in a reasonable way, but the Bill is trying to do so and other legislation already exists to ensure that we do so.