Immigration Rules Advisory Committee for Immigration Rules for EEA and Swiss nationals

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 16th June 2020.

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Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 3:30 pm, 16th June 2020

I thank my hon. Friend for reminding us of the evidence that was given. The core of the matter is that our immigration rules need to remain flexible to respond to emerging situations. For example, if the conditions around visas were in primary legislation, we would have to be putting through Acts of Parliament to alter and extend visas in relation to the current covid-19 situation, which none of us would feel was a sensible way of handling that type of thing. In addition, this process has been established for a very long time. Parliament, rightly, can oversee the immigration rules, but they can be flexible and adapt. To be clear, putting forward, effectively, an immigration rules change could not, for example, alter the provisions that we have on Irish citizens in this Bill and in the primary legislation.