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Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 268:


Page 108, line 22, at end insert--
(“( ) section (Defences based on Article 31 of the Refugee Convention)(11),").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Viscount Bridgeman had given notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 269:


Page 108, leave out lines 24 and 25 and insert--
(“(d) Part VI,
(e) paragraph 1 of Schedule 8, or").

20 Oct 1999 : Column 1270

The noble Viscount said: My Lords, in view of the very helpful offer by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Williams of Mostyn, to hold talks with my noble friend Lord Cope and the noble Baroness, Lady Williams of Crosby--I believe that in this matter I can speak for the noble Baroness--I do not intend to move either Amendment No. 269 or Amendment No. 273.

[Amendment No. 269 not moved.]

Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 270:


Page 108, line 25, after (“92(3),") insert--
(“( ) section 139(15),").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Viscount Bridgeman had given notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 271:


Page 108, line 27, after (“unless") insert (“a Minister has certified that the proposed order is compatible with the Human Rights Convention and").

The noble Viscount said: My Lords, in view of the forecast of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Williams of Mostyn, of a helpful response to Amendment No. 271, I do not intend to move it.

[Amendment No. 271 not moved.]

Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 272:


Page 108, line 31, at end insert--
(“( ) section (Applications for bail in immigration cases);").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 273 to 275 not moved.]

Baroness Williams of Crosby moved Amendment No. 276:


Page 108, line 38, at end insert--
(“( ) Any statutory instrument or draft statutory instrument laid before either House of Parliament under this Act must be accompanied by a certificate by the Minister in charge of the instrument to the effect that he is satisfied that the instrument is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I have been asked to move this amendment on behalf of my noble friend Lord Goodhart. It relates to the question of certification of regulations under the terms of the European Convention on Human Rights.

I mention two factors. As the House well knows, we are now committed to the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into British law. This Bill has major impacts on human rights. It is therefore appropriate that we should be careful in considering its relationship to the European convention on two points: under Article 3 on the issue of families and freedom of movement and Article 8 on issues of privacy. Many aspects of the Bill bite on those and other articles in the European convention.

Throughout the Bill, the Opposition parties have shown great sensitivity to the recommendations of the Select Committee on delegated legislation. The Government have responded generously to our concerns. They have borne in mind the strictures of the

20 Oct 1999 : Column 1271

Select Committee. But nowhere in the Bill has the Select Committee made its position clearer than with regard to the necessity for statutory instruments and draft statutory instruments to carry the statement that they are believed to be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, as is the whole Bill.

The Bill carries a statement of its compatibility with the European convention. However, as the Select Committee pointed out, under its aegis a great many regulation powers exist. The power to make secondary legislation exists in point after point throughout the Bill. Therefore, for very good reason the Select Committee said:


    “We invite the House to consider whether the subject matter of these provisions requires Parliament to ensure that the powers are exercised only in ways compatible with Convention rights. We believe that this leads to the conclusion not only that affirmative procedure is needed for a significant number of these powers but also that there should be a specific ECHR safeguard".

I am sure that the Government have listened closely to what the Select Committee said. I am sure they also recognise their major part in making the European convention a part of British law by incorporating it. Therefore I do not need to spend more of the time of the House in making clear the position that we, and I believe the Official Opposition, take: that there should be a specific ECHR safeguard on every statutory instrument or draft statutory instrument produced as a result of this Bill. I beg to move.

Viscount Bridgeman: My Lords, we entirely support the noble Baroness's comments on the question of human rights. I am confident that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Williams of Mostyn, will address the point, as he forecast earlier today.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, the amendment was originally grouped with Amendments Nos. 271 and 274 which have now been withdrawn. They would require a statement of ECHR compatibility--that is what the Select Committee recommended--whether on the face of the Bill or at least by means of an undertaking by Parliament about the approach to be adopted. We feel that Amendment No. 276 goes further by requiring all secondary legislation to be accompanied by a statement of ECHR compatibility.

The committee's recommendation--it was confined to secondary legislation subject to the affirmative procedure--has wider implications for secondary legislation. I am content to leave my noble and learned friend Lord Williams to deal with the matter at a later stage. I respectfully suggest that it would be appropriate at this stage for Amendment No. 276 to be withdrawn so that those further discussions can take place.

1.15 a.m.

Baroness Williams of Crosby: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply. I point out that the Select Committee said that at the very least an undertaking was required. It made it quite plain that it would much prefer there to be the rather more sweeping

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commitment for which we have been pressing. At this late stage, I shall not press the matter further. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 164 [Short title, commencement and extent]:

Lord Bassam of Brighton had given notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 277:


Page 110, line 6, leave out subsection (2) and insert--
(“( ) Subsections (1) and (2) of section 111 come into force on the day on which the first regulations made under Schedule (Provision of Support: Regulations) come into force.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment is grouped with a number of largely technical amendments to Clause 164 and Schedules 13 and 14. This amendment should be withdrawn as it is subject to our earlier agreements.

[Amendment No. 277 not moved.]

Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 278:


Page 110, line 8, leave out subsection (3) and insert--
(“(3) The following provisions come into force on the passing of this Act--
(a) section (Accommodation centres for those temporarily admitted or released from detention);
(b) section 7;
(c) section (Protection of claimants from removal or deportation);
(d) section (Charges: travel documents);
(e) section (Defences based on Article 31 of the Refugee Convention);
(f) section 89;
(g) section 90(12);
(h) sections 101 to 105;
(i) section 106(1), (1A) and (4) (so far as relating to subsections (1) and (1A));
(j) section 107;
(k) section 120;
(l) section 136;
(m) section 141;
(n) section 142(1);
(o) section 160 to 162;
(p) this section;
(q) Schedule 8;
(r) paragraphs 57(2), 64, 67, 68, 70, 71, 76, 77 and 90A of Schedule 13;
(s) paragraph 6 of Schedule 14.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, the rest of the government amendments in this grouping relate to commencement. They cover a number of largely technical amendments to Clause 164 and Schedules 13 and 14 to the Bill. Amendments Nos. 277 and 278 concern Clause 164 of the Bill which relates to the short title, commencement and extent. This is a straightforward consequential amendment arising from government amendments to Part V1 and the insertion of a new schedule on regulations regarding the provision of support to asylum seekers.

Government Amendment No. 278 sets out the provisions of the Bill which will enter into force on Royal Assent. These are that the new clause on

20 Oct 1999 : Column 1273

accommodation centres for those temporarily admitted or released from detention will enable us to place residence restrictions on persons granted temporary admission to help to alleviate pressure in London and the south-east. Clause 7 makes special provision for certain overstayers. This will enable us to prescribe the regularisation period and to publicise the provision to those affected.

The new clause on the protection of claimants from removal or deportation will allow the Home Office to serve refusal and removal notices at the same time. The new clause on charges for travel documents will provide the Home Office with a proper statutory basis for charging. The new clause provides for defences based on Article 31 of the refugee convention and various provisions regarding regulations or interim provisions for asylum support.

All the powers listed in Amendment No. 278 are required to be available at the earliest opportunity to help to deliver the fairer, faster and firmer system of immigration and asylum to which we are committed. Those relating to asylum support are essential to place on a proper footing the interim provisions before the main provisions enter into force next year.

Other provisions in the Bill not listed in Amendment No. 278 will come into effect in accordance with the commencement orders. Timing will depend on the making of any necessary regulations or orders and the necessary administrative and practical steps necessary to put the provisions into operation.

Perhaps I may take this opportunity to confirm that, subject to Parliament's further consideration of the Bill, the Government attach a high priority to implementation of the new civil penalty for carrying clandestines which Part II of the Bill provides.

The effect of Amendments Nos. 286 and 287 will be to extend the grounds on which an immigration officer may examine a person who has arrived with extant leave to enter and those on which he may cancel that leave. Under the provisions contained in Clause 1 of the Bill, people will arrive in the UK with extant leave. The Bill also provides through Schedule 13 for those persons to be examined by an immigration officer and their leave cancelled where false information has been provided, material facts not disclosed, or where there has been a change of circumstances since leave was given.

Those provisions are drawn from paragraph 3(2)(1) of the current Immigration Rules which concern the refusal of leave to enter of persons in possession of an entry clearance. That paragraph of the rules also provides for refusal if justified on the grounds of restricted returnability, on medical grounds, on grounds of criminal record, because the person seeking leave to enter is the subject of a deportation order, or because exclusion would be conducive to the public good.

As the essence of the new scheme is that a person will have been granted leave after all appropriate checks have been made, cancellation of leave on most of those additional grounds would be covered by two

20 Oct 1999 : Column 1274

provisions contained in Schedule 13. However, legal advice suggests that it will not be possible to rely on those provisions in certain circumstances where there are medical or non-conducive grounds for re-examination and cancellation of the leave to enter.

Amendments Nos. 286 and 287 are designed to deal with this flaw and to bring Schedule 13 more into line with existing powers. Amendment No. 288 is a simple but necessary amendment which provides an in-country right of appeal for those people who arrive in the United Kingdom with leave to enter which has been granted before their arrival and where that leave to enter is then cancelled by an immigration officer. That amendment will safeguard the position of persons who would have travelled here with a reasonable expectation of relying on their leave to enter.

Finally, we come to a number of technical amendments to Schedules 13 and 14. The effect of Amendment No. 284 is to extend the provisions of Section 32 of the Immigration Act 1971 to clarify the legal position of orders, notices, directions and certificates issued under the Immigration Act 1988; the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993; the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996; and the Immigration and Asylum Bill. The amendment ensures that such orders, notices, directions and certificates have the same evidential status as those made under the 1971 Act. In addition, this amendment extends Section 32(2) of the 1971 Act to cover certificates issued by IND caseworkers and immigration officers on behalf of the Secretary of State.

Amendment No. 309 is an example of the draftsman's art being overtaken by the legislators. The provision, which we now seek to delete, was framed to act as an interim provision pending the coming into force of the Tax Credits Act 1999. As that Act is now in force--as family credit has been replaced by working families' tax credit and disability allowance by disabled person's tax credit--the interim provision is no longer required.

Amendment No. 311 is a drafting amendment consequential on amendments made on the first day of Report to Clause 7. As now amended, Clause 7 allows the last day of the regularisation period during which overstayers may apply for leave to remain and retain their existing appeal rights to be as prescribed by the regulations or, if later, on the day before Section 59 comes into force. Technically speaking, therefore, the day may not necessarily be “prescribed". “Fixed" covers either means by which it may be set. I invite your Lordships to accept all of these largely technical amendments. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.


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