Time limit on detention for EEA and Swiss nationals

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 5th March 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration 10:00 am, 5th March 2019

I certainly welcome the Bar Council’s views feeding into this debate. However, very few countries have a time limit as short as those proposed in these new clauses. While some have time limits, recognising the practical challenges in effecting successful returns, some are looking at the issue again.

For example, the European Commission has recently proposed a new detention time limit of at least three months to give member states sufficient time to carry out return operations. In comparison with other countries, the UK performs well in achieving the removal of individuals who have no right to stay. I agree with Stephen Shaw when he said that he had yet to see a coherent account of how a proposal for 28 days had been reached. That different time limits have been proposed in different amendments shows that identifying an appropriate time limit might not necessarily be a simple exercise.