- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
On Tuesday 22 March 22, the Nationality and Borders Bill returned to the House for the consideration of Lords Amendments. This Bill demonstrates incompetence and indifference from the Government on many fronts.
The Government motions were to disagree with the Lords Amendment in question. As such, an ‘Aye’ vote is to remove the amendment, and a ‘No’ vote is to retain the amendment.
Lords Amendment 4 would remove provisions in the Bill to allow a decision to deprive a person of British citizenship to be made in the absence of contact with the person. The Bill as it stands is too vague on how these powers would be used. I voted against the motion, which passed, Ayes 318 and Noes:223.
Lords Amendment 5 would require Part 2 of the Bill to comply with the UK’s obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees. I voted against the motion, which passed, Ayes:313 and Noes:231.
Lords Amendment 6 would remove provisions for a differentiated approach to the treatment of refugees based on the criteria set out in Article 31(1) of the Refugee Convention. Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the provisions would “threaten the integrity of the global asylum system”. I voted against the motion, which passed, Ayes: 318 and Noes: 220.
Lords Amendment 7 would enable asylum seekers and their adult dependents, including failed asylum seekers who have raised further submissions, to work on the same terms as a person with refugee status if a decision on their claim has not been determined within six months of the date on which the application was made. Work alleviates poverty, improves mental health and wellbeing and aids integration. I voted against the motion, which passed, Ayes: 291 and Noes: 232.
Lords Amendment 9: would omit paragraph (a) from Clause 28 on accelerated detained appeals, as Section 77 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 states that a person cannot be removed from or required to leave the UK in accordance with a provision of the Immigration Acts while their asylum claim is pending. The Clause opens the door to the “offshoring” of asylum seekers, which would be cruel, demeaning and expensive. I voted against the motion, which passed, Ayes: 302 and Noes: 232.
Lords Amendment 10 would impose a duty on the Government to make Immigration Rules to allow unaccompanied children and certain other persons in Europe, to be admitted to the UK so that they can seek asylum in the UK where the unaccompanied child or relevant adult has a close family member in the UK. I voted against the motion, which passed, Ayes: 305 and Noes: 230.
Lords Amendment 11 would impose a duty on the Government to resettle a minimum of 10,000 refugees each year, to plan and build the appropriate infrastructure at the required local community level to support integration and ensure resilience in times of crises. This would bring about resilience in an asylum system which is failing. I voted against the motion, which passed, Ayes: 313 and Noes: 227.
Lords Amendment 13 would remove the proposed new offence of knowingly arriving in the UK without a valid entry clearance where this is required under the Immigration Rules. This would criminalise people who are fleeing from desperate circumstances. I voted against the motion, which passed, Ayes: 317 and Noes: 220.
Lords Amendment 22 seeks to set out a range of restrictions on the way an age assessment can be conducted, including establishing a new and separate body which would oversee the age assessments undertaken by the National Age Assessment Board. I voted against the motion, which passed, Ayes: 307 and Noes: 217.
Lords Amendment 24 would have removed provisions which would have set out the consequence if an individual who has been served with a slavery or trafficking information notice under Clause 57, provided information relating to being a victim of modern slavery after the specified time period, without good reason. The provisions will increase the risk of re-trafficking and abuse and the length of the decision-making process. I voted against the motion, which passed, I voted against the motion, which passed, Ayes: 300 and Noes: 221.
Lords Amendment 25: Amendment 24 replaces the previous Clause 62 and introduces certain conditions, including the determination must only be made in ‘exceptional circumstances’ and the threat to public order is ‘immediate, genuine, present and serious’. This amendment also limits the application of Clause 62 to those age 18 or over at the time of referral, and removes the disqualification on the basis of ‘bad faith’ and instead introduces one on the basis that the person is claiming to be a victim of modern slavery improperly. The Clause could undermine attempts to bring people traffickers to justice. I voted against the motion, which passed, Ayes: 296 and Noes: 219.
Lords Amendment 26 sets out that statutory support is to be provided for a minimum of 12 months from the day the recovery period ends for all those in England and Wales who receive a positive Conclusive Grounds decision and have received support during the recovery period. It also seeks to provide leave to remain for confirmed victims of modern slavery for a minimum of 12 months, under certain circumstances. It also provides that if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the person is a threat to public order then leave under this section is not required to be given, or if already given, can be revoked. I voted against the motion, which passed, Ayes:291 and Noes: 214.
Lords Amendment 40 would mean that the Secretary of State cannot impose an Electronic Travel Authorisation requirement on any person travelling to Northern Ireland from Ireland on a local journey. Accordingly, those who require an ETA would be legally permitted to enter the UK across the land border on the island of Ireland without obtaining an ETA. I voted against the motion, which passed, Ayes:298 and Noes: 216.