Clause 28

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 20th March 2007.

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Photo of Damian Green Damian Green Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 11:15 am, 20th March 2007

I rise briefly to put on record something that I have thought since I first read the Bill: that the title of the clause is ludicrous. It is called “Automatic deportation” but the provisions are for nothing of the sort. We are about to discuss exceptions, which means that it is not automatic.

As the Minister has eloquently explained, there are huge complications and difficulties. If he were to attempt to create a system of fully automatic deportation, he would be in breach of various international treaties to which Governments have signed up. It is worth putting on record my understanding that “automatic deportation” is an unfortunate term, first used, I believe, by the Prime Minister in Prime Minister’s questions one week. It does not accord with the reality of life as it is or as it will be when the Bill is on the statute book. It is particularly unfortunate that that piece of cheap rhetoric will find its way on to the statute book.