Consequential etc provision

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 26th February 2019.

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Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control) 11:15 am, 26th February 2019

I am grateful to the Minister for her detailed response; she said she would go into the detail and she certainly did not disappoint. The one defence that does not really fly with me is that similar powers have been used in previous immigration Bills. I objected very strongly to some of the powers that appeared in previous immigration Bills, and certainly to those in the immigration Bill before this one. However, she gave useful examples of how the powers will have to be used. We will have to go away, think carefully about what she said and reflect on whether changes are needed.

The amendment about which I was not fully satisfied by the Minister’s answer, and which I still wish to push to a vote, is amendment 1. In my view, tidying up the statute book and putting in place transitional provisions, as the Minister gave as examples, would surely meet the “in consequence” test, and so the very loose “in connection with” test would not be needed. I also agree with the Lords Committee that transitional arrangements should be in the Bill, first to cover a no-deal scenario, secondly because it would be useful for the UK in Europe in such a no-deal scenario when trying to push other Governments around the EU for reciprocal treatment, and finally because the Bill is a much safer place for it to be than in delegated legislation.

I also have some concerns about the response to amendments 3 and 5 on the different types of affirmative procedure. I still find it startling that we are even contemplating, in a no-deal scenario, an end to free movement within a few weeks’ time. I do not think this country is remotely ready for any such prospect at all; a far more sensible option would be to put in place arrangements for free movement to continue even in a no-deal scenario until we are properly ready to make any changes that are agreed upon. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.