Clause 19

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 15th March 2007.

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Photo of Paul Rowen Paul Rowen Shadow Minister, Transport 9:30 am, 15th March 2007

I rise to support the hon. Gentleman’s proposal. We heard earlier from the Minister, who said that he was proposing to set up the IND differently and to subject it to regulation by Parliament. I welcome that. Certainly, anything that makes the immigration process more transparent and subject to parliamentary reporting must be welcomed. We are talking about a points-based system that, as has been said, is used only in one area at the moment, and so is new and relatively untried. During our discussions on earlier amendments, we debated changes that would have allowed new evidence to be used in certain circumstances, but the Minister did not accept them. However, we need to know fairly soon after the clause comes into operation how it is proceeding. An annual report, given the new regulatory framework that the Minister will set up for the IND, would be good practice and would give hon. Members confidence that the IND was on the road to recovery.