Clause 21 - Priority Removal Notices: Expediated Appeals

Part of Nationality and Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 26th October 2021.

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Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 2:30 pm, 26th October 2021

I beg to move amendment 155, in clause 21, page 24, line 21, at end insert—

“(2A) The Secretary of State must accept that there are good reasons for P making the claim on or after the cut-off date where—

(a) the PRN recipient’s protection or human rights claim is based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics;

(b) the PRN recipient is suffering from a mental health condition or impairment;

(c) the PRN recipient has been a victim of torture;

(d) the PRN recipient has been a victim of sexual or gender based violence;

(e) the PRN recipient has been a victim of human trafficking or modern slavery;

(f) the PRN recipient is suffering from a serious physical disability;

(g) the PRN recipient is suffering from other serious physical health conditions or illnesses.”

This amendment defines ”good reasons” for the purposes of section 82A(2) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (as inserted by this Bill).

If someone makes a protection claim after the PRN cut-off, then unless the Secretary of State is satisfied there are good reasons, she must certify the appeal right and it will be subjected to an expedited appeal straight to the upper tribunal. Tribunal procedure rules, then, must make provision for this. If it is in the interests of justice for an appeal not to be expedited, the tribunal may order that it is no longer subject to that process. This, too, prevents any onward appeal.

In the next debate I will set out our opposition to the clause as a whole, but amendment 155 sets out a situation where the Secretary of State must accept there has been a reasonable excuse, similar to before. It would surely be wrong to subject survivors of human trafficking, or gender-based violence or torture—to use but three examples—to an accelerated appeal, simply on the grounds that they were late making a claim in response to a PRN. We have heard very powerful reasons already today, including in Home Office guidance, why that can be an incredibly difficult process.

I suspect the Minister will again reject this amendment on the same grounds as before, but it is at least useful for him to state on record that these are the types of claimant that he envisages should not be pushed through any accelerated appeal process. I will listen carefully to what he has to say in that regard.