Clause 32

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 20th March 2007.

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Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Minister of State (Home Office) (Immigration, Citizenship and Nationality) 12:00 pm, 20th March 2007

The relationship between co-operation, migration and international development is a subject that ranges widely not only in government but in the European Union. I, my noble Friend Lord Triesman and Department for International Development Ministers talk about the matter a lot, and I believe that we should be strengthening the links. We will have more to say on that in the months to come.

The amendment would basically free foreign national prisoners once they have been detained for six months. My concern is that that would destroy the incentive for foreign national prisoners to co-operate with the documentation process. I understand the ambition behind the amendment; the hon. Member for Ashford wants to ensure that we do not lock people up for any longer than necessary. I completely agree with that intention. We need more detention space, which is why we are building more, but we also need to increase the throughput rate in our prisons. Many of the changes that the Home Secretary has proposed will help us to achieve those increased rates, but we also need these incentives in place to encourage people to co-operate with the documentation process.