New Clause 16

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:00 pm on 20th March 2007.

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Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Minister of State (Home Office) (Immigration, Citizenship and Nationality) 5:00 pm, 20th March 2007

I take the opportunity before we conclude our business to thank you, Mr. Illsley, and your co-Chairman, Mr. Amess, for such courteous and efficient chairing of business—so efficient that we have finished slightly earlier than anticipated, despite the level of analysis and the depth of discussion. I also thank the Clerks, the Hansard reporters, the police and others who have been connected with the conduct of the Committee. I think it has run extremely smoothly. In my Back-Bench career, I served on something like six Bill Committees in a reasonably short space of time, but this is by far and away the smoothest running Committee that I have sat on.

I was grateful too for the exemplary organisation of the public evidence sittings. Like many members of the Committee, I enjoyed the part that we played in the constitutional innovations that the Leader of the House steered through. I think that they were a valuable aspect of the scrutiny of the Bill. I also thank the Whips for the way that they have helped us stay on course. I would like to thank not only the Opposition Front-Bench spokesmen but all members of the Committee for the helpful and constructive way in which they have approached the debate. Finally, I thank my officials, who have worked extremely hard, often very late at night, over the past six months in order to put the Bill before the Committee. The Bill has been dispatched after a good deal of careful consideration. I thank the entire Committee, particularly the co-Chairmen.