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9 Dec 2008 : Column 49WS

Seven Year Child Concession

The Minister for Borders and Immigration (Mr. Phil Woolas): The United Kingdom Border Agency is withdrawing DP5/96, a concession which has also been referred to as the seven year child concession, as of 9 December 2008. The concession set out the criteria to be applied when considering whether enforcement action should proceed or be initiated against parents of a child who was born here and has lived continuously to the age of seven or over, or where, having come to the UK at an early age, they have accumulated seven years or more continuous residence. The original purpose and need for the concession has been overtaken by the Human Rights Act and changes to immigration rules. The fact that a child has spent a significant period of their life in the United Kingdom will continue to be an important relevant factor to be taken into account by case workers when evaluating whether removal of their parents is appropriate. Any decision to remove a family from the UK will continue to be made in accordance with our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Immigration Rules.

The withdrawal of DP5/96 and replacing it with consideration under the Immigration Rules and article 8
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of the ECHR will ensure a fairer, more consistent approach to all cases involving children, whether accompanied or unaccompanied, across UKBA. Withdrawing the policy will also prevent those overstaying or unlawfully present in the UK having the benefit of a concession which does not apply to those persons who comply with the Immigration Rules and remain in the UK lawfully.


Legislative Competence Order

The Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Paul Murphy): I am pleased to inform the House that the proposed National Assembly for Wales (Legislative Competence) (Social Welfare) Order 2009 dealing with carers has been laid today, as Command Paper (Cm 7505). Copies of this can be found in the Vote Office and will be placed in the Library from 12 noon. I have written to the Welsh Affairs Committee and to the House of Lords Constitutional Committee to request they undertake pre-legislative scrutiny.

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