Clause 65 - Pre-consolidation amendments of immigration legislation

Nationality and Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 2 November 2021.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

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

This might seem innocuous but my concern is that it may be a power grab by the Secretary of State because the clause contains some quite strong measures on what the Secretary of State can do in relation to other parts of legislation. Can the Minister reassure me that my fears are not borne out by the consolidation measures in clause 65?

Photo of Craig Whittaker Craig Whittaker Assistant Whip, The Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that clause 65 was taken from the “Windrush Lessons Learned Review”, which is why it is in the Bill.

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

What is taken from that review is perhaps the need for consolidation of immigration legislation, nationality legislation and so on, which I would absolutely support. The challenge with the clause as drafted is that it proposes pretty huge and wide-ranging powers. The Secretary of State can amend pretty much any old Act of Parliament if, in her opinion, it facilitates what is otherwise desirable in connection with the consolidation. It could rewrite citizenship laws, for example, or the entire immigration system. There is a check on it in the sense that the regulations will not come into force until a consolidation Act is passed. There is a broader question about how often Governments tend to help themselves to massive Henry VIII powers when they rewrite all sorts of stuff. I have made that point a million times and nobody listens, so I will leave it at that.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 65 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 66 to 68 ordered to stand part of the Bill.