Clause 18

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:45 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 6:45 pm, 13th March 2007

I do not think that there is any confusion in the drafting of the Bill. It is meant to be read clause by clause and section by section, and if that is done, it is not in the least confusing.

Designation at port relates to the power of an immigration officer to detain an individual at port—not necessarily in relation to an immigration offence and not necessarily a foreign national. That is the significant difference between the powers of immigration officers and the powers of the police in relation to the issue that we are discussing. The offences relate to immigration matters, not to anything else. The only situation in which the powers might be applicable to a British citizen is when somebody somehow facilitates fraud relating to asylum seeker support. There is a significant difference in the powers and they do not overlap in the way that the hon. Gentleman was concerned about.

Limiting cash seizure powers to officers designated under regulations would restrict the application and use of the powers. In particular, amendment No. 91 would limit the exercise of the power to designated immigration officers at ports in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In effect, unless someone was at a port, the amendment would make it impossible to seize the evidence relating to the offence.