EEA Nationals and the TOEIC test

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:00 pm on 5th March 2019.

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Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee of Privileges, Chair, Committee of Privileges, Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee on Standards 3:00 pm, 5th March 2019

I am a little disappointed by the tone of the Minister’s response. There is no doubt that, as she says, there has been cheating, both corporate and individual. It is unfortunate to adduce other cases that were nothing to do with ETS and the TOEIC case in particular, to imply that there is some general culture of cheating that these students were a part of. We know that specific cases that have been brought either to the Home Secretary and considered carefully, as she says, or to the courts, often have been found in the appellants’ favour. The courts have been quite firm in some of their wording, making it quite clear that it is the Government who have failed to discharge the burden of proof that sits on them and not some legal failure on the part of the students to make their case.

I hear what the Minister says about the situation for those applying for settled status or pre-settled status. I am grateful to her for that assurance. I recognise what she says about the scope of the Bill and that perhaps it is not the ideal vehicle for the new clause. However, despite the reviews and discussions she mentioned, the Home Secretary has twice in the last year made a commitment to come back with a fuller report on the matter after conducting a review of it. That still has not happened, so I am sure the Minister will appreciate my taking this opportunity to put the matter in front of Ministers again. She may also want to know that a new all-party parliamentary group has been established to consider the issue further. She and the Home Secretary can expect to hear more from that group.

With the leave of the Committee, I will withdraw the new clause, but I am sure that my right hon. Friend the Member for East Ham will want to consider further, as I do, what steps may still be available to pursue this injustice suffered by a number of international students. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.