Examination of witnesses

Nationality and Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 21st September 2021.

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Councillor Roger Gough and Councillor Rachael Robathan gave evidence.

Photo of Siobhain McDonagh Siobhain McDonagh Labour, Mitcham and Morden 3:15 pm, 21st September 2021

We will now hear oral evidence from Councillor Roger Gough, from Kent County Council, who is joining us virtually, and Councillor Rachael Robathan, from Westminster City Council, who is here in person. We have until 4pm. Would the witnesses introduce themselves for the record?

Councillor Roger Gough:

I am Roger Gough. I am the leader of Kent County Council. I also chair the South-East Strategic Partnership for Migration.

Councillor Rachael Robathan:

I am Rachael Robathan, I am leader of Westminster City Council.

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

Q I thank both witnesses for coming today to give evidence. I just wonder about your experience of the pressures of having to look after asylum seekers in your respective authorities. I know that it will be different for each of you but what pressures have your councils been under?

Councillor Rachael Robathan:

Just to give a current picture; we have 638 Afghan refugees who have come in as part of the current settlement in one hotel on the Edgware Road. We have a further 589 refugees who were in Westminster prior to that, spread across five hotels. Our experience is that clearly there is a lot of pressure on local services in terms of identifying health, educational and other support needs. There is not always the advance warning that local authorities would wish to have in terms of knowing about the placements before they arrive. Clearly, as much notice as we can be given from the Home Office, Clearsprings or whoever is placing the asylum seekers is very much to our advantage so that we can prepare and know what we are dealing with.

The other thing to stress is that there are particularly significant issues that arise. For example, over a third of the current Afghan refugees placed in Westminster are children and of those 10% are not with their parents or guardians, and have not travelled with them, so there is an immediate safeguarding issue, which the local authority needs to step in and deal with. While there is funding for the people placed in the hotels, there are undoubtedly significant pressures and concerns about how we support other people. It is unclear how long those refugees will be staying in those hotels. We are working on three months, but it could be longer than that, or it could be less. Those are the main things.

The current Afghan refugee settlement has been more co-ordinated than previous asylum-seeker placements, because there has been more of a joined-up approach. Westminster has a lot of tourist hotels in the centre of our city, which currently are not as full as hopefully they otherwise would be, so in areas where there is an availability of hotels there tends to be a disproportionate placement of asylum seekers, without necessarily the recognition of the pressure that that puts on the surrounding area.

Councillor Roger Gough:

As you indicated in your question, clearly we have a very specific set of circumstances in Kent which relate to the Channel crossings and in particular to unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. Taking asylum overall first, most of the adult and accompanied child asylum seekers who arrive in Kent do not spend very long in Kent. There has been an exception to that for the last year, which is the use of the Napier Barracks near Folkestone, which has been a source of some challenge and controversy throughout its period of use. Most adult asylum seekers are rapidly moved on and dispersed. For us, the big issue has been unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. As you may know, we have twice in the last year had to suspend full operation of our statutory duties. Between August and, I think, early December last year and again between June and earlier this month, we did not collect young people from the port because our services at that point were put under extreme pressure.

To give an idea of what that means, there was great pressure on accommodation capacity since, this year in particular, we started to see more younger young people––under-16s––than we had in previous years. That certainly put pressure on fostering placements. For the slightly older young people, there was also pressure on some of the accommodation that they were placed in. That meant that young people were being placed outside the county, which clearly has significant impact in terms of oversight, safeguarding and so on. You must then add to that the fact that case loads and the pressure on our social work teams were reaching levels that we viewed as unsafe. Those are the sort of pressures that we were seeing in that area, and we have been working with the Home Office to try to make that a more manageable situation.

Turning to some of the wider areas, adult asylum dispersal, with the significant exception of Napier Barracks, has not been a factor for us very much in recent years. In terms of resettlement schemes, Kent, along with other parts of the south-east, played a full role in the Syrian scheme and is now looking to do so to the greatest possible extent with the Afghan scheme. We have three hotels in Kent that are being applied to Afghan families who are arriving.

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

Q I have a follow-up question for you, Councillor Gough. You mentioned the issue around children. The adults, apart from at Napier Barracks, are dispersed: they come in, get processed and are taken to another part of the country. In relation to the children, do you get any additional resources from the Government to deal with the problem? Is it enough or do you need more resources to deal with the issues that you face?

Councillor Roger Gough:

Historically, resources in the sense of money have been an issue for us. That has changed in the last year and a bit. Historically, we carried a loss, if you like: a difference between what we received from the various grants—chiefly Home Office grants—and what we spent of between £1.5 million and £2.5 million a year. In the summer of last year, there was a significant increase in the rates paid by the Home Office, particularly targeted on those of us in authorities with large numbers of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. As part of the launch of the latest version of the national transfer scheme, there were some further enhancements to rates including some things on the care leavers area. That has made a real difference to us financially, so the point that I have made constantly is that when we speak about pressure and the areas in which Kent is feeling the impact, it is to do with the capacity of our services to respond. It has not been a case of financial resources this year or last, but historically it was.

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

Q Councillor Robathan, you mentioned the pressure of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children on Westminster City Council’s resources. Can you give me an idea of those pressures and whether you have had additional support to deal with that from the Government?

Councillor Rachael Robathan:

As Councillor Gough mentioned, it is not currently so much around the financial support; it is more to do with the wider pressure on services across the piece. For example, at the moment, we in Westminster, like Kent, have more than our allocated number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, which represents a significant responsibility because of the length of time that they are likely to be in receipt of services. There is a very significant pressure there, but it is more the wider pressure on overall services.

At the moment, we have 638 Afghan refugees in one hotel on the Edgware Road. We are having to put significant resources into trying to understand exactly who is there and what their needs are—all that information we need to gather in order to be able to look after those people safely while they are here. There is also the question of uncertainty. We do not know how long they will be within the borough and in need of our services. There are issues around education. Do we provide education within the hotel for those children? Clearly, if they were to go into our schools, that is disruption for the school and for the children themselves, as well as for the other children in that school.

So there are a number of other issues that need to be taken into account so that we can look after the children properly. That is why there needs to be more planning on where the asylum seekers are placed, and full co-ordination between the Government and local authorities on this.

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

Q On dispersal and asylum accommodation elsewhere, many councils, including those of many of the Members sitting around the table here, take asylum seekers and they are resettled in those council areas, but some do not. Do you think that all councils should have to take their fair share?

Councillor Rachael Robathan:

Yes, I think there should be a balanced approach to the whole process. Recognition needs to be made of the services and the housing accommodation that is available in different areas. Clearly, in inner-city areas there is more pressure. For example, the current Afghan refugees that we are seeing tend to have larger families, so there is more of a need for four-bedroom or even five-bedroom properties, which are under more pressure in an inner-city area than in other areas. Some balance needs to be made. Absolutely, in terms of dispersing and further placement, that needs to be balanced.

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

Q Councillor Gough, what is your view?

Councillor Roger Gough:

I agree with that. What we have to remember is that there are different schemes for different groups of asylum seekers and others being resettled. The rhetoric that is always applied by central Government and the authorities is a place-based approach. Many of us would say that in practice that does not always work out.

When it comes to unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, in Kent we have been vociferous that the scheme should be mandatory. At the moment, the Government are still very much committed to a voluntary scheme. We will have to see how that works out. The Government are seeking to make it work, but we have a view on that.

On adult asylum seekers, part of the difficulty is that you have a very different mechanism being applied and very different responsibilities for the authorities or areas that are taking part. For instance, the south-east is massively under-represented in terms of adult asylum seekers within its population by comparison with, say, the west midlands or the north-west. The problem is not so much that the authorities are unwilling to step up to the plate. It is much more to do with the cost and availability of housing and developing the infrastructure. To some extent, once you have established the infrastructure, it can support more arrivals; it is getting it started that can be the issue. That has generated a slightly vicious circle, in terms of where you get concentrations of asylum seekers. That is something that the Home Office and groups such as the regional migration partnerships were working on over the last couple of years. It was quite a major strand of work prior to the pandemic striking. There is very much a variation.

The other key point, which fits in with what Councillor Robathan has just mentioned, is engagement with local authorities. Many of us would say that the resettlement scheme—what started as the Syrian scheme—has been a great model of very effective engagement with local authorities, and that has been reflected in the fact that authorities across the country have played their part in it. Not all schemes work quite as well.

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

Q I have one final question for Councillor Gough. You mentioned Napier Barracks in Kent. The Government announced that they want to extend the period of time that they are using Napier Barracks for asylum accommodation. I just wondered what your thoughts were on that, and how it has gone down locally.

Councillor Roger Gough:

Clearly, it is not welcome that we have another element of this particular picture in a part of the country that very visibly experiences large numbers of arrivals. In a sense, having a presence of this kind in east Kent is not ideal, and we have always been clear—both Kent County Council and our colleagues in the local district council, Folkestone and Hythe—that this is a decision taken by the Home Office, not by the local authorities, and is not something we were in support of.

That said, I think that a great deal of work has been undertaken to seek to address some of the problems that produced the real crisis in and around Napier Barracks in the early part of this year, where we saw some disorder and a significant covid outbreak. Significant steps have been taken on that, although there are still concerns about that facility.

Photo of Paul Howell Paul Howell Conservative, Sedgefield

Q Can we change the direction slightly? We have heard lots about the stresses that illegal immigration is putting on local councils. Looking at the Bill as it stands, can you tell me whether there are things in there that help the situation for you, and are there things that you would like to have seen in there—things that would have helped if they had been put in? I am trying to see what difference the Bill would actually make to your life.

Councillor Rachael Robathan:

Yes, there are certainly some things that we would welcome, although it would be good to see some more detail when the secondary legislation comes forward. Just to back up slightly, a further issue that we have in Westminster, as many of you will be aware, is the significant number of rough sleepers. Our latest count was 171, which is actually fewer than there have been previously. We worked very closely with Government on the Everyone In programme and so on last year, which was very successful, but we still have 70 in a bridging hotel within Westminster, so there is a significant issue around rough sleeping.

Over half of those people have no recourse to public funds. All of the asylum seekers in Westminster have come through the sanctioned route, so they would be in category 1 under this Bill, but one of the concerns for us would be if there is more clarity, if you like, in terms of no recourse to public funds for category 2, whether some of those people who would have no recourse to public funds might slip into rough sleeping. There is always a draw to the centre of Westminster: it is known that an aggressive beggar can make up to £500, or sometimes more, on our streets in Westminster, so if people find themselves on the street, there is an economic pull into the centre. That could lead to increasing numbers within Westminster.

Speaking very specifically about Westminster, the issue is that we then have an issue with tented accommodation, and the point about tented accommodation—I have had a number of meetings with the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice about this—is that there is a very high bar for the police or others to be able to gain entry to the tents. Not only is it difficult to enforce against those who would be illegally there but, much more importantly, it is very difficult to address issues around trafficked women and other people who are on the streets and need support and help, because we are unable to deliver that. That is a concern.

One of the things that we would welcome—I think this has come through in what both Councillor Gough and I have said—is a more organised approach to the way asylum seekers are looked after and accommodated. More planning around the process would help. I think we have also both said that the Afghan resettlement has been much better in terms of being able to have planning and co-ordination with local authorities, so that is something we would welcome.

Also in Westminster, I welcome the measures around modern slavery, but also the greater sanctions to stop people coming back into the country if they have been convicted of criminal activity. Once again, we have people on the streets in Westminster who engage in criminal activity to earn money. That activity is not at a very high level, but they are still things that have a real impact on our residents’ lives. We would welcome the moves around electronic travel authorisation and other measures to make re-entry into the country more difficult for those people who are here to commit criminal activity.

Councillor Roger Gough:

I would endorse what Councillor Robathan has said; I agree with all those points. There are a couple of specifics from our side. One slightly begs the question as to how effective the measures will be, ultimately, because others looking at the Bill can judge that better than me. The basic principle of seeking to promote safe and orderly routes at the expense of those that involve things like the small boat routes would be very welcome. There is no doubt, and it has been much emphasised, that that route is very dangerous. It creates a degree of political tension because it is so visible. It is something that we very much wish to avoid. Those issues come home to those of us who are border authorities, particularly in the case of the small boats in areas such as Kent. The measures to try to shift the balance between the two ways in which people get here would in principle be very welcome.

The second area I want to touch on relates to age assessment. Broadly, the direction there seems to me to be a favourable one. The attempt to create a national body, not to carry out or provide support to local authorities, unless it is requested, so much as to provide some consistency and regularity to a very time-consuming process that can wrap up huge amounts of time from very qualified social workers and which often has no very obvious end to it because it is relatively loosely guided, is welcome. Establishing best practice as well as providing support for local authorities, many of which will be less experienced in this area than authorities such as mine, would be very welcome.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

Q First, I have a very Kent-specific question. You will appreciate that I am new in role, but for the benefit of the Committee, could you set out what pressures Kent County Council currently faces as a result of the number of people crossing the channel?

Councillor Roger Gough:

We are slightly betwixt and between on that. I apologise if I give an answer that may not be quite as definite as you would like. I shall explain why. If we take this year and last year, the very specific pressures that we have been experiencing were rapid increases in the numbers of young people coming into our care, the end result of which was that social work case loads rose far above recommended levels, particularly for the specialist teams dealing with those cases. We also had reception centres that, particularly with the first wave of big pressure last year, were filling rapidly. That was the point at which placing young people in other accommodation was difficult because of the circumstances of the pandemic.

Just to be clear, it is perhaps worth saying that when we talk about unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, historically, these have been adolescent males. Indeed, if you look at last year’s figures, we have very few indeed who were under the age––or stated age––of 16. There was something of a shift in the early part of this year where, from memory, about a fifth of those arriving were of stated age under 16. That tended to push you more towards foster accommodation rather than the semi-independent and other forms of accommodation that we would provide for the 16 and 17-year-olds. That has meant that through the pressures on fostering, and to some extent on other forms of accommodation, we had to place more young people outside the county, and we were certainly heading into that sort of territory at the time when we were closing our doors again in June. That was the biggest area of concern.

One thing that is worth noting, too, and it has a longer lag on it, is care leavers: those who come into our care, or indeed the care of any authority, under the age of 18—they are taken in as children in care—then become care leavers. Councillor Robathan referred to that. Under the changes to legislation that took place three or four years ago, we have a responsibility for them through to the age of 25. While at the moment, we have around 300 under-18s in our care, we have over 1,000 care leavers. In fact, our care leaver service is more ex unaccompanied asylum-seeking children than it is ex Kent children in care. As you can imagine, that generates a number of specific pressures, too. I hope that answers your question. The only reason for my hesitancy at the start was that we have just come out of the period when we were not taking young people into our care, and therefore some of the very large numbers of arrivals that we saw a few weeks ago, of whom typically 10% to 15% would probably be unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, were not having a very direct effect on us at that point. But clearly if those numbers were to continue, we would potentially be in a different situation.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

Q In terms of the broader measures that we are seeking to introduce in the Bill, how pressing do residents in your communities think they are?

Councillor Roger Gough:

First, there is a big variety of views in Kent, as I think there is anywhere. My inbox, my postbag, tells me that about all the issues that are raised, but as I mentioned in my earlier responses, the very visible sense of large numbers of arrivals on the coast has had an effect within the county, and therefore that has made the issue a pressing one. As I say, from a service delivery point of view, for us the most pressing element of it has been to do with the children.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

Q To touch on age assessments again—I know that you have commented briefly on those—there are almost three elements to my question, and I would be delighted to hear from both of you on this. What pressures do age assessments place on your local authority in resource terms? What safeguarding risks do you think exist as a result of adults successfully posing as children? How many UASCs who approach you for support do you have doubts about in relation to their claimed age?

Councillor Roger Gough:

On the first question, it is a demand and I cannot quantify it at this moment, but I can give you perhaps some indications. It is a demand on social worker time, so you will tend to see that a typical age assessment involves two experienced social workers, who will carry out interviews. If you just take everything going smoothly, if I could put it that way, that would involve a couple of half-day interviews followed by extensive paperwork, research and then later stages of the process. In practice, and this goes back to my earlier comments about age assessment, there are a number of ways in which the process may well be less smooth running than that. But you need experienced social workers, and one of the areas in which we have worked with the Home Office has been through their support for us in backfilling posts so that experienced social workers can take that role on.

On safeguarding, clearly there is a significant concern—it is quite hard to specify the full details of it—where you have adults in what one would take to be a young person’s space. Clearly, you will have a challenge over those who are, if you like, on the cusp. What happens—this ties in, perhaps, to your third question—is that we have had historically quite large numbers of young people being put through by the Home Office where doubts have been raised by Border Force regarding their age. There are some of whom they would say—interestingly, recent court findings have helped with this process a bit—“Look, this person is definitely, in our view, out of the reasonable range to be considered a child,” and they would be into the adult part of the process.

That can sometimes come back. For instance, where asylum seekers have been placed in hotels elsewhere, disputes about age assessment then come back as an issue for the new local authority. I know of a number of places across the south-east where that has happened, but in our case, there are a number of cases where any local authority, I think, would take the view that, where it is very hard to establish—again, the guidance around this is relatively loose—that a young person is definitely out of that age range, there is precious little point in pursuing that further.

That still leaves you with a material number. At one point, at the height of things, around half the young people who were arriving arrived with doubts raised about them by the Home Office. We would then probably in practice seriously investigate, because it was considered viable to do so, only a portion of those, but they would very often go into cases where the age dispute would be pushed to the point of saying that this was indeed an adult.

Councillor Rachael Robathan:

As Councillor Gough said, this is very time consuming. As he stated, almost all of the UASC are late-teen boys, and it can be very difficult at the best of times to tell someone’s age, so it involves a huge amount of time on the part of the local authority. There is a very clear safeguarding issue, because once someone has been accepted as UAS they are put into a child setting—schools and other child settings—where there is a very clear safeguarding issue. That is something that we are all very conscious of, clearly.

The other point, as we said earlier, is that there is an ongoing responsibility to these young people, because the responsibility to support them carries on until they are 25, so if you have someone who presents as a 16-year-old, let us say, that means that you have almost 10 years during which you will support that young person. In terms of ensuring that there is the best use of public funds, which we all know are always very stretched, we need to ensure that the people coming into the system are the ones who really need that support, and who are legitimately there.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

Q I noted the broad support for the national age assessment board approach that we are proposing to try to deal with some of this, but what impact do you believe the current judicial review-based processes for settling disputes of age assessments have on your organisation? I am conscious, as a former councillor, that it is not always just financial; it is also around officer time in particular, and the impact on services more generally. What would you say about that?

Councillor Rachael Robathan:

Anything that moves towards a uniform process will greatly help. At the moment, involving the local authorities and putting the responsibility on them is very difficult for what are very often stretched institutions. Having a uniform, joined-up process would be very welcome.

Councillor Roger Gough:

Already when you see changes in, for instance, what the courts have found about what is a reasonable basis on which a challenge can be presented by Border Force, as we have seen recently, that has made a huge difference. The proportion of young people coming to us age disputed is significantly lower than it was before that.

When you get changes in the process, it can make a material difference. Authorities like ours are at least experienced in this area, even if we are in the eye of the storm. As dispersal happens, or when, as I mentioned earlier, those who have been placed as adults launch a challenge within their own authority, issues may arise for an authority that is not nearly as well set up to deal with them as we are.

To pick up on the point that Councillor Robathan made, it is worth emphasising what a difference going into the children’s system or the adult system makes. As we have both said, first there are children in care and then there is the care leaver process, all of which, quite properly in their own way, have particular requirements for children’s services departments in authorities. The process around adult dispersal clearly still makes demands on council services, but in the first instance it is a housing-related issue, from which a number of other things follow. It is not quite the same as building in what can be a seven, eight or 10 year process of somebody being part of the children’s services operations of the council.

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

Q I thank the witnesses for their evidence so far. I have a couple of follow-up questions on age assessments. You have spoken about the safeguarding issues that arise if somebody who is an adult finds themselves in a space for children, but of course the opposite can also happen; there are huge safeguarding issues if somebody aged 15 or 16 ends up being put in a hotel with adults or dispersed to some other part of the United Kingdom with limited supervision. It is in all our interests to get that absolutely right. Would it make any difference, for example, if we took the pressure off these decisions—I am thinking slightly off the top of my head—by continuing UASC leave to a higher age, say 20 or 21?

Councillor Roger Gough:

Sorry, could you just run your last point by me again?

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

It just strikes me that a lot of the pressure around these decisions, and perhaps even a degree of cynicism about where a number of age claims fall, arises from the fact that UASC leave, as I understand it, takes young people up to 17 and a half. If UASC leave carried on until 19, 20 or 21 there would be much less pressure, or motivation—if you are cynical about it—to make a claim that you were 15, 16 or 17 than there is now. Would that be a different way to try to go about fixing this?

Councillor Roger Gough:

I need to think about this one, but I suspect my answer will probably be that where the pressure arises is not so much on the immigration side of things as in respect of the children’s services obligations. As long as a young person is identified as being of a particular age that, under the current rules, makes them a child in care for the council, that is where the issues for councils arise. As has been mentioned, that takes those involved through to the age of 25 as care leavers. The answer almost certainly is that it is Children Act responsibilities that matter in this case. As you say, there is normally UAS leave to remain, which will then usually transfer over into a five-year leave to remain. In a sense, the age issues tie into Children Act responsibilities.

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

Okay, I will give that some further thought.

Councillor Roger Gough:

And so will I.

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

Q Safeguarding obviously does work both ways. Ultimately it is just imperative that we get this right. I think other local authorities have expressed some concern about this national body possibly taking their decision-making power away from them. Nobody would object to anything that drives up standards and helps to make sure we get these decisions right, but do you have any sympathy with local authorities that say, “Ultimately, it is our social workers who will implement this decision. It should be them who make the decision in the first place”?

Councillor Roger Gough:

I am certainly more supportive of something that is there to support local authorities and provide more of a framework and a structure, rather than completely taking the process over—I do not think that that is necessarily what would be envisaged. In short, going back to the two points you have posited, you are quite right that safeguarding arguments would cut both ways. What all of us are asking is simply, how do we find a process that is as robust as it can be and that does not have a hugely distorting effect on local authority children’s services departments in terms of their time, their resources and their officers’ commitment?

In terms of the function that this body could have, there is a suggestion that it could support, and take decisions with, authorities who wish it. But the key thing in many ways is that it provides more of a framework within what, at present, is a relatively hazy area of activity. To the degree that you can do that, I think you would make local authorities’ lives easier and better, and they would hopefully provide better services in this area than would otherwise be the case.

Councillor Rachael Robathan:

I would largely agree. In terms of your first point, about moving the age higher, I would be wary of introducing a hurdle or age bar that was different from that for other young people in our care. I would be quite wary about introducing a parallel process that has different criteria. I suspect that you might just push the problem forward a few years; then you would have a 19-year-old, but are they really 19 or actually a 22-year-old who is presenting as a 19-year-old? That might move the issue around, rather than addressing it.

I agree with what Councillor Gough said: having a national process that helps local authorities in determining age would be a support. It is not determining the shape of the services that local authorities then deliver; it is basically saying, “This young person qualifies on this age basis to access your services.”

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

We will have to see what the placeholder clauses in the Bill are replaced with, but thank you both very much.

Photo of Siobhain McDonagh Siobhain McDonagh Labour, Mitcham and Morden

If there are no more questions, I thank the witnesses for their evidence. We will move on to the next panel.