Clause 16

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:00 pm on 13th March 2007.

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Photo of Paul Rowen Paul Rowen Shadow Minister, Transport 5:00 pm, 13th March 2007

I have listened carefully to the Minister and I understand her point about the drafting of the amendment. However, I believe that important issues are at stake, although perhaps my amendment does not  address them properly. The situation of people who perhaps have no permanent right to be here but who cannot be removed is intolerable. I would like us to be able to grant them employment rights, for the very good reason that, as my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Yardley said, they would then be in the open and not in the twilight zone, where they can be exploited.

We have only to consider the case of the cockle pickers up in Morecambe to see what happens when people whose status is not adequately known are used by shadowy employers. There are no proper controls and they end up losing their lives as a result. I want us to have a system that is regulated.

I accept the Minister’s point about the drafting of my amendment and I will seek leave to withdraw it, although I give her notice that when we return to the Bill at a later stage, I would like to have an amendment that addresses those points, because I believe that there is support for such an amendment. I was a little disappointed that the Minister did not make an offer to the effect that the Government would examine that. I give her notice that we want to return to the issue, because we think, certainly given what the TGWU said to us in the evidence session, that the issue is important and needs to be satisfactorily resolved. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.