Meaning of “the Immigration Acts” etc

Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 26th February 2019.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

Clause 3 is minor and technical in nature, but it is important for the implementation of the Bill and to ensure that we have a fully functioning statute book. Subsection (1) ensures that the Bill, when enacted, will be covered by any reference to “the Immigration Acts”, which are the Acts of Parliament that govern the UK’s immigration system. They enable, for example, grants of leave to enter and remain, and the deportation of individuals.

References to the Immigration Acts can be found across the statute book. For example, section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires that functions conferred by virtue of the Immigration Acts are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. Clause 3 will ensure that functions conferred by regulations under the Bill must be discharged according to that duty in relation to the best interests of children. Such a provision is standard for an immigration Bill, and clauses that have the same purpose and effect are included in previous Immigration Acts. For example, section 73 of the Immigration Act 2014 and section 92 of the Immigration Act 2016 both provide that those Acts are included in the definition of Immigration Acts.

Subsection (2) clarifies that the Bill is not retained EU law. That means that it is not part of the body of law that will have been saved in UK law by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. It is important to make it clear that the Bill cannot be treated as retained EU law. For example, it cannot be amended by the deficiencies power under section 8 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act or any other powers to deal with retained EU law.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 3 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.