Settled status

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 5th March 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration 2:45 pm, 5th March 2019

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that suggestion. Just because I disagree, that does not mean that I have not listened. We have made a commitment to digital by default, which I think is the right way forward. I made a point earlier about the challenge of different types of document, and the difficulties that might be presented if some people could produce one sort of document and others were reliant on digital only. I happen to think—perhaps I spent a long six months as the Minister responsible for the Government Digital Service—that this is the right way forward. The Government have always been very clear that this is our direction of travel.

I understand that it represents a cultural change for many, and I am very conscious that many EU member states not only require an identity document to be held at all times, but enforce compulsory identification on request, for instance from police officers. That is very different from the way in which the UK behaves. We do not have those requirements, nor are they part of our culture. Our methods of proving identity and rights do not have to mirror what other countries do.