Clause 19

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 15th 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 9:45 am, 15th March 2007

The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. He will know from the discussions that we have had throughout proceedings in Committee that we are doubling our enforcement resource and bearing down on both illegal employment and the kind of practice to which he refers. It is something that we would take very seriously and seek to take enforcement action against, so he can rest assured that enforcement is at the top of our agenda—it is a priority for us. That is evident in the Bill.

I want to give hon. Members some reassurance about how the effects of clause 19 will be scrutinised. They will be scrutinised in the following ways. The independent inspectorate will include a number of key themes relevant to the operation of the points-based system, including its appeals process and the operation of clause 19. The inspectorate will report annually to the Secretary of State, who will have to lay its report before Parliament. For all intents and purposes, that meets the requirements of the amendment tabled by the hon. Member for Ashford and the comments by the hon. Member for Rochdale.

Furthermore, in accordance with Cabinet Office guidelines, our regulatory impact assessment commits us to conducting a post-implementation review of the whole Bill, again including clause 19. We will place a copy of the review’s report in the Library. The further report that the amendment would entail would be unnecessary and would not justify the resources needed to prepare it. However, I hope that what I have said about the annual report, which will be laid before Parliament, will meet the amendment’s requirements.