Examination of Witnesses

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:00 pm on 12th February 2019.

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Jodie Blackstock:

It is not something that we at Justice specifically have an opinion on, other than to say that the arrangements that are created must ensure that the acquired rights that people currently exercise as a consequence of their movement between the UK and the EU are protected, and that the process that is decided for those individuals post exit needs to be subject to the scrutiny of Parliament and not decided simply through a delegated power without sufficient scrutiny. That is why we say the procedure ought to be encapsulated in the Bill through a requirement that such a policy must be subject to the scrutiny of Parliament.

There are two schemes that the Government have already implemented and will come to fruition once we leave: the EU settlement scheme for those who are already in this country and are requesting settlement, if they do not already have that status; and the proposal for temporary leave to remain for people coming into the country who wish to remain and work here. Given that one of those schemes is already in the immigration rules and the other is well advanced, so there must be policy for it, it seems to us entirely appropriate that the procedure should be laid before Parliament in the Bill and be subject to scrutiny, rather than simply left to a delegated power that does not provide you with the opportunity to debate the important issues concerning what preferential treatment EU nationals should be given.