Nationality and Borders Bill

– in a Public Bill Committee on 21st September 2021.

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[Sir Roger Gale in the Chair]

Photo of Roger Gale Roger Gale Conservative, North Thanet 10:25 am, 21st September 2021

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Before we begin, I have a couple of preliminary announcements. I encourage Members to wear masks when they are not speaking, in line with Government guidance and that of the House of Commons Commission. Please give each other and members of staff space when seated and when entering and leaving the room. Hansard colleagues would be grateful if Members emailed their speaking notes to hansardnotes@parliament.uk. Any doubt about that, please ask the Clerk at the end. We must ensure that Hansard gets the notes. Please ensure that all your mobile phones are switched to silent. I remind Members that tea and coffee are not allowed in Committee. If you want to have coffee, you have to go outside the Committee Room.

Today, we will consider the programme motion on the amendment paper. We will then consider the motion to enable the reporting of written evidence for publication and the motion to allow us to deliberate in private about our questions before the oral sessions begin. In view of the time available, I would like to take those matters formally. I have discussed it with the Minister and he agrees. I call him to move the programme motion standing in his name, which was discussed yesterday by the Programming Sub-Committee.

Ordered,

That—

1. the Committee shall (in addition to its first meeting at 10.25 am on Tuesday 21 September) meet—

(a) at 2.00 pm on Tuesday 21 September;

(b) at 11.30 am and 2.00 pm on Thursday 23 September;

(c) at 9.25 am and 2.00 pm on Tuesday 19 October;

(d) at 11.30 am and 2.00 pm on Thursday 21 October;

(e) at 9.25 am and 2.00 pm on Tuesday 26 October;

(f) at 11.30 am and 2.00 pm on Thursday 28 October;

(g) at 9.25 am and 2.00 pm on Tuesday 2 November;

(h) at 11.30 am and 2.00 pm on Thursday 4 November;

2. the Committee shall hear oral evidence in accordance with the following Table:

TABLE

Date

Time

Witness

Tuesday 21 September

Until no later than 11.25 am

British Red Cross

Tuesday 21 September

Until no later than 2.45 pm

Immigration Services Union; Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Tuesday 21 September

Until no later than 3.15 pm

Derbyshire Police

Tuesday 21 September

Until no later than 4.00 pm

Kent County Council; Westminster Council

Tuesday 21 September

Until no later than 4.30 pm

Fortinus Global Ltd

Tuesday 21 September

Until no later than 5.15 pm

National Crime Agency

Thursday 23 September

Until no later than 12.15 pm

Migration Watch

Thursday 23 September

Until no later than 12.45 pm

The Hon George Brandis QC; High Commissioner for Australia to the United Kingdom

Thursday 23 September

Until no later than 2.30 pm

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Thursday 23 September

Until no later than 3.15 pm

Siobhán Mullally, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons; Dame Sara Thornton, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

Thursday 23 September

Until no later than 4.00 pm

Refugee Council; Refugee Action; Women for Refugee Women

Thursday 23 September

Until no later than 5.00 pm

EPCAT; European Network on Statelessness; Immigration Law Practitioners Association

3. proceedings on consideration of the Bill in Committee shall be taken in the following order: Clauses 1 to 8; Schedule 1; Clauses 9 to 21; Schedule 2; Clauses 22 to 26; Schedule 3; Clauses 27 to 39; Schedule 4; Clauses 40 and 41; Schedule 5; Clauses 42 to 71; new Clauses; new Schedules; remaining proceedings on the Bill;

4. the proceedings shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at 5.00 pm on Thursday 4 November.—

Photo of Bambos Charalambous Bambos Charalambous Shadow Minister (Home Office)

On a point of order, Sir Roger. On the initial list of witnesses there were some Home Office officials. On the present list, there are no Home Office officials, which makes it much harder for the Opposition to scrutinise the Bill. We had certain questions that we wished to pose to Home Office officials. I put it on the record that they were initially on the list of witnesses but are no longer there.

Photo of Roger Gale Roger Gale Conservative, North Thanet

That is not strictly a matter for the Chair; it is a matter for the usual channels. That should be discussed between the Government and Opposition Whips. I had better ask for the relevant parties to do that privately, and to have a conversation with you. It is not something, I am afraid, that I can adjudicate, but you have made your point. The opportunity to discuss it was at the Programming Sub-Committee yesterday, where it should properly have been raised. It was not raised on that occasion.

Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

Further to that point of order, Sir Roger. I may have raised it had the Programming Sub-Committee started at the time it was supposed to start. I arrived yesterday a minute before the start time, and the sub-committee had finished its work. I was going to make the point that Government witnesses had disappeared. We have now lost a couple of hours, and the opportunity for other witnesses to give evidence. I wanted to put it on the record that I was disappointed not to be able to make that point yesterday.

Photo of Roger Gale Roger Gale Conservative, North Thanet

The sub-committee was quorate when it started yesterday. Members are expected to be there in a timely fashion. I think that I am right in saying that we started on the nose of the time at which we were supposed to start. I take your point, but again it is a matter for the usual channels, not the Chair.

Resolved,

That, subject to the discretion of the Chair, any written evidence received by the Committee shall be reported to the House for publication.—(Tom Pursglove.)

Resolved,

That, at this and any subsequent meeting at which oral evidence is to be heard, the Committee shall sit in private until the witnesses are admitted.—(Tom Pursglove.)

The Committee deliberated in private.