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:

The memorandum suggests that Government require the ability to change policy on social security co-ordination, and that is the purpose of creating a power here. Policy change would arguably not be possible under section 8 of the withdrawal Act, so Government are intending to do something broader here. In our view, it is wholly inappropriate to be changing policy relating to really fundamental provision for people who cross borders. We are talking about pension rights, access to healthcare, maternity and paternity leave—provision that may have built up over a significant number of years while a UK national resides in another EU country. It is simply not appropriate to leave that to a policy change by way of delegated power, but it seems to us, from their memorandum, that Government are expressly intending to do that to get around the limitations in section 8.