Clause 29

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

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Photo of David Davies David Davies Conservative, Monmouth 11:15 am, 20th March 2007

The point of my amendment is that, in my view and that of the law, 16-year-olds know the difference between right and wrong. For a 16-year-old to get a prison sentence of 12 months—a situation that would have to pertain for them to face deportation—they would have to commit a pretty serious offence, or a large number of moderately serious offences. So, the point of this amendment is fairly simple. Where do the Government think that their priorities lie? Do they think that they lie in looking after the wishes and convenience of a 16 or 17-year-old serious offender who has made it clear that they have no respect for the rules or ways of life of this country? Or do they see it as their priority to protect members of the public who, in many major cities, are facing an onslaught of criminality?

My view is quite simple. A 16 or 17-year-old who knows right from wrong, and who has decided to show no respect whatever for the laws of this country, should not be given the right to remain here. The British public have the right to be protected from them, and would be better off without them.