Amendments 75, 76, 77 and 78 were recommended by the Joint Committee on Human Rights; first, to ensure that Clause 60 is compatible with international law obligations. This has been questioned by the JCHR, drawing on the opinion of Professor Goodwin-Gill, which has already been referred to, that the deprivation of citizenship should be,

“a necessary and proportionate response to the conduct in question”.

The JCHR noted that, in their letter to the committee, the Government said that they did not want,

“to rule out the possibility that deprivation of citizenship leaving a person stateless is necessary in the interests of the economic well-being of the country”.

The JCHR said:

“It is hard to imagine the circumstances in which such a serious measure could ever be necessary and proportionate for such a purpose”.

Will the Minister help us out and give an example of the kind of situation envisaged that would not anyway be covered by terrorism? Economic well-being does not seem to be a reason for taking away someone’s citizenship and making them stateless.

The JCHR said that the best interests of the child should be taken into account and, once again, issued a plea for this to be written into the legislation to ensure that they are,

“treated as a primary consideration”.

The committee also said that the legislation should not be retrospective, which is,

“an exceptional step which requires weighty justification”.

We were not persuaded that such justification exists. I note from a Written Answer on 10 February:

“There will be no time limit, but the conduct being considered must have taken place after the individual became a British citizen”.—[Official Report, 10/2/14; col. WA 101.]

Amendment 76A complements the JCHR’s amendments and has two purposes. First, it would ensure that the power in Clause 60 could not be used against someone when they are outside the country. This would help ensure compliance with obligations under international law and, as has already been noted, the JCHR, drawing on the opinion of Professor Goodwin-Gill, has questioned whether the clause is compliant. The committee said:

“We would be very concerned if the Government’s main or sole purpose in taking this power is to exercise it in relation to naturalised British citizens while they are abroad, as it appears that this carries a very great risk of breaching the UK’s international obligations to the State who admitted the British citizen to its territory”.

That point has already been made but it bears repetition. Will the Minister comment on this important legal point?

The JCHR also expressed surprise at,

“the Government’s refusal to inform Parliament of the number of cases in which the power to deprive of citizenship has been exercised while abroad”,

and made it clear that Parliament,

“is entitled to this information in order to assist it to reach a view as to how the new power is likely to be exercised in practice”.

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I pay tribute to the tireless briefing that ILPA has provided to the committee throughout the passage of the Bill, although I fear we have not done it full justice. A freedom of information request submitted by ILPA elicited the information that, of five individuals stripped of British nationality in 2010, all were outside the UK. This has to raise alarm bells. Will the Minister give Parliament—and the committee—this information now?

At Second Reading, the Minister assured noble Lords:

“There is a safeguard of a full right of appeal”.—[Official Report, 10/2/14; col. 417.]

But how is someone who is forbidden to return to the country supposed to exercise that right of appeal? It will not be very easy. In practice that is probably a pretty empty assurance. What will be achieved apart from sullying the UK’s international reputation, as we have already been warned? Liberty suggests that the clause is based on a security fallacy, arguing that stripping someone of nationality abroad will in no way contribute to security at home. Those who threaten our security do not respect national borders; my noble friend Lady Smith has made a similar point.

5.30 pm

The second part of the amendment would ensure that Clause 60 could be used only against individuals who could acquire another nationality within a period of six months. In other words, it aims to prevent statelessness, the seriousness of which we must not underestimate. At Second Reading, the Minister said:

“The evil of statelessness is well understood and that is why… so much work was done to reduce it”.—[Official Report, 10/2/14; col. 527.]

As has been said, the UK took the lead in that work but is now siding with oppressive and rogue states that perpetuate the evil of statelessness.

In the words of the Open Society Justice Initiative, which has particular expertise in this area, statelessness is a condition of insecurity and indignity. The UNHCR says:

“To be stateless is to be without nationality or citizenship. There is no legal bond of nationality between the state and the individual. Stateless people face numerous difficulties in their daily lives: they can lack access to health care, education, property rights and the ability to move freely”.

Essentially, in Hannah Arendt’s memorable words, they lack the right to have rights. Liberty describes it as a,

“brutal punishment with unique practical and legal consequences”,

and that stripping a person of his or her nationhood and forcing him or her into,

“the obvious cracks in protection created by a state based system of law and international relations is a barbaric and unprincipled response to concerns about our security”.

When the clause was first introduced in the Commons, Parliament was assured by the Home Secretary that the whole point was that the process would apply only in cases where the individual could access citizenship of another country, and it would be open to them to apply for such citizenship. To the JCHR’s surprise—I have lost count of how many times we had to express our surprise in our report—it has since emerged that the scope is, of course, much wider. As the Minister

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made clear at Second Reading in this place, an individual can be deprived of their citizenship regardless of whether that leaves them stateless.

The amendment would simply make the clause consistent with the assurance given by the Home Secretary to the House of Commons; ILPA warns that that in itself is not sufficient protection, because according to UNHCR guidelines nationality cannot be a predictive exercise, but at least would take us some of the way. Again, the legality of the clause has been questioned by the Open Society Justice Initiative and Professor Goodwin-Gill, who explains the point as follows:

“It could be argued … that once having ‘legislated away’ the right to make a citizen stateless, as in 2002 and again in 2006, the United Kingdom no longer falls within the category of States which, in the sense of Article 8(3) of the 1961 Convention, ‘retain the right’ to deprive a person of his or her nationality, even if it results in statelessness”.

As a non-lawyer, it seems to me that this revolves around the interpretation of the word “retain”. Will the Minister confirm whether the Home Office’s lawyers have seen this opinion and what their view of it is? If he cannot tell us that now, will he write to noble Lords afterwards? This point seems to be rather important. Whatever the lawyers’ response, does he accept that this clause is going to be challenged in the courts very quickly?

In passing legislation, we have to consider the consequences. I have spoken about the consequences for someone out of the country. What about a person who is in the country when deprived of citizenship and who is unable to apply for citizenship of another country? My noble friend Lady Smith has already asked some questions about this. The Government have conceded that it may not be possible to deport them, so they will live a kind of shadow existence in our midst, no doubt bitter and resentful. As Liberty asks, on what basis do the Government believe that this will improve the country’s security?

In those cases where it is possible to deport the person, I can do no better than quote the late Lord Kingsland, the Conservative shadow Lord Chancellor, who in 2002 said:

“If we identify someone as a person proposing to commit a serious terrorist offence, for example, surely the obligation is on us to deal with that person. If we simply deport him, we shall be handing on—in my submission, irresponsibly—this terrorist problem to another state which may not have the same capability of dealing with it as we do. It cannot be a proper response to the terrorist threat to refuse to deal with it ourselves. … That would be irresponsible of us”.—[Official Report, 9/10/02; cols. 277-78.]

Can the Minister explain why Conservative thinking has changed since those wise words were spoken? Why do the Government so lack confidence in the criminal justice system and its own criminal justice legislation to deal with this kind of threat? My noble friend Lady Kennedy has already talked about this.

I remind the Minister what his noble friend Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth said at Second Reading:

“if the deprivation of nationality leaves them stateless, then I have serious concerns both about fairness and efficacy. It seems neither fair nor effective”.

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He went on:

“Britain has a proud history of fairness and I believe my country to be better than this proposal”.—[Official Report, 10/2/14; col. 490.]

Again, those are wise words. I do not think that the safeguards to which the Minister referred in his response to the noble Lord, Lord Bourne, did anything to address his concerns on this fundamental point of the consequences of deliberately making a person stateless.

Amendment 76A will go some way to addressing questions raised about lawfulness and the implications of Clause 60 for the UK’s international reputation. The Open Society Justice Initiative has warned that,

“The UK Parliament’s approval of Clause 60 would send a message to the world that the UK condones the creation of statelessness”,

thereby giving a green light to other states—states of which I am sure the Government do not approve. The fact sheet issued by the Home Office states:

“This is more a matter of principle than an issue of numbers”.

I agree. For that reason, I believe that Clause 60 should not stand part of the Bill. If it does, it is imperative that the clause is amended along the lines of the various amendments that we are debating this evening.

Lord Roberts of Llandudno: My Lords, I will refer to Amendments 75 to 78 from the noble Lord, Lord Lester. They touch upon important points, including one made in the context of Clause 14 by the noble Baroness, Lady Lister, and myself.

The Government have an obligation to take into account the best interests of any child affected by their decisions. I accept that Amendment 77 must be understood in the light of the reply of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Wallace, to amendments tabled to Clause 14. He stated:

“We believe that the children’s best interests must be a primary consideration. … However, it is simply not the case that a child’s best interests will outweigh every other possible countervailing factor, including illegal immigration and serious criminality”.—[Official Report, 5/3/14; col. 1384.]

Amendment 77 seeks to put on the face of the Bill that the child’s best interests should be considered, no matter what the crimes of the parents might be. This remains true.

I support also Amendment 75, which seeks to limit the dangerously broad and vague power that the Home Secretary asks for. The lack of clarity was outlined to me in a Written Answer from the Minister, Lord Taylor, on 10 February, in which he stated:

“The Government does not wish to be overly prescriptive about the meaning of ‘seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom’, as the circumstances of each case will be different. However we intend it to cover those involved in terrorism or espionage or those who take up arms against British or allied forces”.—[Official Report, 10/2/14; col. WA 103.]

He cited terrorism, espionage and taking up arms against British or allied forces as possible specific examples. I hope that all here will wholeheartedly agree that the Home Secretary should be obliged to consider whether the deprivation of citizenship is both a necessary and a proportionate response.

Ultimately, this debate will focus on the finer details of this clause, but we must also take a moment to consider whether the deprivation of citizenship is an

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appropriate response to alleged criminality or threats to security, given its considerable implications for international law. For this reason, I have put my name to the call made by the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, to oppose the clause in its entirety.

Although I have previously stated that I am not one who understands the law to any measurable extent, I remain a concerned citizen. I am deeply troubled that this provision could allow for the citizenship of millions to be removed, with slim chances of appealing.

Let us not forget the judgment of Chief Justice Warren ruling in the United States Supreme Court case of Trop v Dulles in 1958. He said that,

“use of denationalization as a punishment”,

means,

“the total destruction of the individual's status in organized society. It is a form of punishment more primitive than torture”.

I hope that the Minister will take these comments to heart in replying to the Committee.

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: My Lords, if Clause 60 operates in accordance with the Government’s intentions, it is bound to increase statelessness in the world. The noble Baroness, Lady Lister, has already reminded the Committee of the words spoken by Hannah Arendt many years ago, that statelessness deprives people of the “right to have rights”. It brings about a bleak, hopeless status, or rather a complete lack of status, that the British Government should have no role in encouraging, first, because of the positively terminal impact that the imposition of statelessness is bound to have on the ability of the rightless to function in a way that is even remotely human in the modern world and, secondly, because it is clear that such an imposition as a policy measure can have no sensible part in a co-ordinated international effort to combat security threats. In fact, it appears to be the antithesis of such an effort, even in circumstances where it is precisely co-ordinated international effort that we need.

In fact, the unilateral imposition of statelessness is very likely to be directly unhelpful to those efforts because it carries with it the very real risk of breaching the United Kingdom’s international obligations to a country which has admitted a person on the strength of their lawful possession of a United Kingdom passport. Of course, such a country would absolutely have the right to return an individual directly to the United Kingdom, and what then? As the JCHR has observed, the United Kingdom would appear to have no absolute right under international law to require other states to accept its outcasts. In my view, therefore, this proposal is not only ugly in the sense identified so many years ago by Hannah Arendt; it not only associates the United Kingdom with a policy beloved of the world’s worst regimes during the 20th century; but it threatens illegal and procedural quagmire hardly compatible with the comity of nations, still less with solidarity between free countries in the face of terrorism.

Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood (CB): My Lords, I, too, have a fundamental problem with this clause. It has been suggested that it was added late to the Bill and designed to overcome the Government’s

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defeat in Al-Jedda, which was decided by the Supreme Court just last October, but in fact Clause 60 goes substantially further than merely reversing that decision.

5.45 pm

The argument in Al-Jedda was as to the scope of Section 40(2) of the 1981 Act as that had been substituted in 2006. Section 40(4), as substituted, reads:

“The Secretary of State may not make an order under subsection (2)”—

allowing him to deprive someone of citizenship if satisfied that the deprivation is conducive to the public good—

“if he is satisfied that the order would make a person stateless”.

Having been granted British nationality, Mr Al-Jedda had lost his Iraqi citizenship, but it was said by the Secretary of State that he was entitled to regain that Iraqi citizenship on application as soon as he lost his UK citizenship. The court assumed that that was so, but it decided that the clear wording of Section 40(4) still prevented the Government from making him stateless, even in the short period until he chose to apply to regain Iraqi citizenship. What the Government needed—and could by legislation have achieved, pointed out Lord Wilson, giving the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case—was to have added to Section 40(4) the words, “in circumstances in which he has no right immediately to acquire the nationality of another state”. Had those words been added, he would have been stateless merely for as long as it took him to apply to regain some other citizenship.

I am rather more sceptical than some others among today’s speakers as to the strength of the advice of Professor Goodwin-Gill that the clause would actually involve the United Kingdom in a breach of international law. The very recent report of the Select Committee on the Constitution on the Bill, published only on 7 March, suggests that there would probably be no such breach. But I am in the fullest measure in agreement with others who have spoken that the proposal would in fact involve the United Kingdom taking a serious retrograde step, deeply damaging to our international reputation. It is a shocking example to other states, which ordinarily are readier than we are to make such a radical departure from the consensus as to proper international human rights conduct. Lord Wilson, in giving the Al-Jedda judgment, referred in paragraph 12 to “The evil of statelessness” and spoke of the “terrible practical consequences” that flow from it. Some of those practical consequences have been outlined by other contributors to today’s debate, and some are suggested by the Select Committee on the Constitution in its brief report.

Even assuming, contrary to the suggestions of many, that such a clause could ever operate to enhance the security of this nation, there is, I respectfully suggest, altogether more to lose than to gain by it. If the Government want to follow Lord Wilson’s suggestion of simply repairing what may be thought to have been an omission from the earlier legislation, let them do so. Essentially, that would be the result of accepting Amendment 76A. Let them, if they wish, go that far, but certainly let them not go to the full width of the proposed new clause.

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Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, this afternoon’s speeches have reassured me that I was not misreading the clause when I ended up, time after time, in confusion—not just as to the principle, but as to the point. I would sum up my confusion with three questions to myself. If someone is stateless, it seems he may be allowed to remain in the country, so how is the threat diminished? Indeed, is not any threat increased because of the reaction of the individual and his community against the state’s action? Secondly, what happens to his dependants—are they not likely to become more of a burden on the state? Thirdly, is this one of those occasions when neither Parliament, concerned with the principle, nor the individual, at the sharp end of the practice, is able to challenge the decision—one of those occasions of “If you knew what I know”? We are not thought police, and I was reassured when I read in the clause a reference to a person having “conducted” him or herself in a prejudicial manner—but of course we cannot know about conduct any more than thought.

Like the noble Baroness, I read the report in the Independent today and I thought it a clear example of the impact on someone left stranded. I think he was served with the decision when he was transferring between planes: he was part way—as he would have said—home, and had to return to, I think I am right in saying, Waziristan. However, he was stranded: separated from his community and perhaps family—I do not recall—in the UK, but regarded almost as an outlaw, and, as he put it, in danger from those in Pakistan and Waziristan who regarded him with considerable suspicion. It is a very disturbing story.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: My Lords, this has been a very thorough debate on a clause which, as the noble Lord said, we owe it to discuss thoroughly.

I start by adding some further perspective to the debate on the deprivation of citizenship. The measures in the Bill to deprive someone of citizenship can be used only against someone who has chosen, as an adult—not as a child—to naturalise as a British citizen. When choosing to seek British nationality they will have taken an oath, or sworn allegiance, to Her Majesty, and pledged their loyalty to this country. Despite this—

Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws: I know it is early in the Minister’s answer, but can I be clear: is he saying that this will not apply to persons who were naturalised when they were under 18?

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: It will not apply to people under 18. Such people are not able to apply for naturalisation; they can gain British citizenship through registration—in effect, through their parents’ presence in this country. Rather, this amendment to the existing law applies to people who have sought naturalisation. As I say, they pledge their loyalty to this country. Despite this, a small number of these individuals have chosen by their conduct to betray the values and laws of their adopted country. Therefore, in my view, it is only right that the Home Secretary can, in seeking to protect the security of the UK, deprive them of that adopted citizenship, and expect them to reacquire, or to acquire, their former citizenship of another country.

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I remind the Committee that the Government already have the powers to deprive citizenship. Such powers have been operated by successive Governments. Listening to the debate at certain times, I got the feeling that the argument was that no Government should have the power to deprive citizenship. However, the clear argument in these amendments is not on that case but on whether the exceptional case of statelessness should be an exclusion from the Government’s powers in this pre-existing legislation.

These powers have their origins in legislation dating back to the First World War, when provision was made for the revocation of citizenship if a naturalised person was suspected of treasonable activities. Section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981, which has been cited, allows the Home Secretary to deprive British citizenship in two scenarios. The noble Baroness, Lady Smith of Basildon, mentioned them. The first is where the person acquired it using fraud, false representations or concealment of a material fact, which essentially means that they used deception to obtain citizenship for which they were not eligible. In these cases a person may be left stateless. Are noble Lords arguing that they should not be deprived of citizenship in such cases?

The second scenario is where the Home Secretary,

“is satisfied that deprivation is conducive to the public good”,

and that the person would not be left stateless as a result. It is the second of these powers that Clause 60 seeks to amend by returning our position on deprivation action to that which existed as recently as 2003. These powers are provided for and permitted under international law by virtue of the UK’s declaration to the 1961 UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and the domestic legislation that existed at that time. These powers are provided for and permitted under international law.

Baroness Lister of Burtersett: The Minister may be about to come to this point, in which case I apologise. However, I referred to the legal opinion of the Open Society Justice Initiative and Professor Goodwin-Gill. That raised a question over this whole matter and whether, the time having passed, we have in fact retained that power.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: I would say that the Government’s position is that we have. The noble and learned Lord, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, seemed to concur with that opinion. However, I was grateful for the noble Baroness raising that issue and I will take note of what she has said.

We should be clear that we are discussing in this context very serious cases where an individual’s behaviour has been seriously prejudicial to the UK’s vital interests. That is the definition. We expect the person concerned to reacquire the citizenship of another state and in most cases they can. It is not satisfactory that when dealing with such individuals the Home Secretary’s decision is at the whim of the nationality laws of other countries. These cases will be few in number and subject to the most careful scrutiny by the Home Secretary.

I turn to Amendments 74 and 79. It is not in dispute that any individual deprived of their citizenship, either under existing powers or as a result of this

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clause, would have the full right of appeal regardless of whether they were in the UK or overseas. Grounds for appeal can include both the legality of the action and the merits of the Secretary of State’s decision. Therefore the courts already have an important function in reviewing the Secretary of State’s decision on appeal. I cannot agree that it is appropriate or necessary that the court should have to give permission before the Secretary of State can issue a deprivation decision. Any such procedure would be impractical and out of step with any other immigration and deprivation decisions.

6 pm

Given that these cases relate to the vital interests of this country, there may well be some urgency to them. We should not underestimate the additional delay and complexity that could be caused by introducing an additional stage of court involvement, particularly in cases which involved closed material.

Amendment 75 is on proportionality. Any decision to deprive an individual of their citizenship is a serious matter. Decisions made under the new power in Clause 60 would be in light of a wide range of evidence, and only after careful consideration of all the facts. Recommendations are ultimately reviewed and decisions made by the Home Secretary. As part of any deprivation decision, consideration is given to the personal circumstances of the individual, as well as the threat to the UK that they pose. The Home Office would adopt the approach from the UNHCR report Preventing and Reducing Statelessness, which asks states to consider,

“proportionality … taking into account the full circumstances of the case”.

All decisions by the Home Secretary will naturally take into account wider circumstances and the proportionality of any decision.

There has been a lot of debate about whether Clause 60 is consistent with the UK’s obligation under international law. I have tried to set this out.

Baroness Lister of Burtersett: I am sorry to interrupt the Minister, but he seems to be moving on from the question of proportionality. I asked if he could give an example of where it could be envisaged that the economic well-being of the country being threatened might be the reason for depriving someone of their citizenship and making them stateless. The Joint Committee on Human Rights was surprised about this being a possible reason. Can the Minister elucidate with an example of where that might be the case?

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The noble Baroness will have to allow me to write to her on that issue. The Government have responded to the report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, so she may find that the answer is in there. If not, I will seek to provide her with that answer.

As I said, Clause 60 is consistent with the UK’s obligations under international law. As I have set out here, and as accepted by the JCHR in its recent report, this clause is in accordance with international law by virtue of the UK’s declaration upon ratifying the 1961 convention and the domestic legislation that existed at the time. There is therefore no question of the clause

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undermining our international obligations. We are adapting and responding to the threat that the UK faces, but acting within our international obligations. Amendment 76 would be an unnecessary addition to the Bill.

The noble Baroness, Lady Kennedy of The Shaws, and the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, asked if we were contravening international law by making people stateless. I have given the answer to that. As a party both to the UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness of 1961 and the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons of 1954, the UK is obliged to comply with the provisions of those conventions, which we would continue to do. If a person was recognised as a stateless person and inside the UK, they would have—as my noble friend Lady Hamwee rightly pointed out—protection against removal and a right to work and study. Depending on circumstances they may be granted access to public funds and be able to apply for a stateless person’s travel document. Those, therefore, are the facts: we would not seek to ride roughshod over those conventions that we have signed up to.

Baroness Smith of Basildon: I did not intend to intervene until the noble Lord had spoken, but there is a lack of clarity in what he has just said. It does not seem to be the same as what the Minister, James Brokenshire, said in the House of Commons. He said that special consideration may be given, and that if leave to remain or some other kind of leave to be in the country was given, conditions would be attached to it. He mentioned new conditions. Is that the noble Lord’s understanding, or is this something different?

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: I must say that nothing I have said implies that there may not be conditions. They are frequently imposed on people who may pose a threat to this country, and this case is no different. However, I have said that the right to protection against removal would be part of our obligation under the existing conventions, and we would not seek to do otherwise than honour those conventions.

On the challenge made by the noble Baroness, Lady Smith, about the question of deprivation action taking place only in the UK, that is the salience of Amendment 76A. The purpose of the new power is not to target naturalised people who are abroad, but to allow the Secretary of State to take timely action against individuals, whatever their location at the time the decision is made.

However, it is a fact that in some cases key information comes to light when a person is outside the UK. Indeed, often travel abroad to terrorist training camps or to countries with internal fighting is the tipping point—the crucial piece of the jigsaw—that instigates the need to act, given the potential danger that those individuals would present on their return to the UK. The Home Secretary therefore needs to be able to determine the most appropriate response and timings to deprive a person of citizenship, regardless of whether they are inside or outside the UK.

Lord Pannick: Can the Minister give the House an assurance that the Home Secretary will not deliberately wait until an individual is abroad before exercising Clause 60 powers?

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Lord Taylor of Holbeach: It is up to the Home Secretary to determine when she exercises powers in the country’s best interests. As far as I can see that is a sort of non-question, because she exercises the powers at her discretion and will do so in the best interests of the country.

Nationality can be reacquired, says Amendment 76A. On that amendment, it is a reasonable requirement for those deprived of citizenship to acquire an alternative nationality quickly. However, often those individuals have little incentive to do so, and any arbitrary time limit imposed on the power would only provide an incentive to delay.

The purpose of this power is to ensure that the Home Secretary can protect the security of the UK, whether or not the individual can or has the inclination to avail themselves of another nationality. In considering deprivation cases, assessments will be made of all circumstances, including the right to another nationality, but statelessness of itself should not be an arbitrary bar to action.

Let us be clear: deprivation action is taken only against those individuals who meet the thresholds I have outlined. We do not, and cannot, take deprivation action against family members—husbands, wives or children. I hope that that reassures the noble Lord, Lord Roberts of Llandudno. It cannot be done on the basis of any relationship to the person being deprived. The Home Secretary has a statutory duty under Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 to,

“safeguard and promote the welfare of children”,

in respect of immigration, nationality and asylum decisions. That is a duty which we take seriously and there is no necessity to restate it explicitly in the context of Clause 60, as Amendment 77 seeks to do.

The noble Baroness, Lady Smith, asked specifically about the case of Y1. The judgment in that case from the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in November 2013 dismissed Y1’s appeal against deprivation. The Home Secretary is entitled to reach her decision on how to manage cases using available evidence as appropriate.

The noble Baroness asked about numbers and mentioned that 27 people had been deprived under conducive powers since 2006. These powers have been exercised by not just this Government but the previous Government. There have been appeals—15 individuals have appealed against the decision taken by this Government to deprive them of their citizenship. The majority of those appeals are ongoing but, aside from Al-Jedda, to which the noble and learned Lord, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, referred, to date there has not been a successful challenge to a deprivation decision.

Some noble Lords are concerned that the proposed new power enables the Secretary of State to take account of behaviour carried out before the clause comes into effect. Surely it would be perverse if that were not the case. Such a position would not allow the Home Secretary to consider the full background to individual cases. We believe that those who naturalise to become British citizens should adhere to the values and laws that they swear an oath to

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maintain. As such, we believe that there is justification for making this power apply with an element of retrospection.

Noble Lords have challenged whether deprivation makes such people less of a threat. Deprivation is just one of a number of tools that can be used to disrupt the national security threat posed by certain individuals, either on its own or in conjunction with other immigration powers. By removing an individual’s entitlement to a British passport and to enter or remain in the UK, deprivation can help reduce the direct threat an individual poses to the UK—for example, by precluding him or her from involvement in the development of terrorist networks, the provision of terrorist support or training and the preparation of terrorist attacks on the UK.

It is important to remember that a person who could come within the scope of this new power would already be liable to being deprived of citizenship under existing powers. The only thing that prevents that now is that such a decision would leave them stateless—that is the difference that Clause 60 seeks to address—which is a fact that may become apparent only some way into the deprivation process. Therefore, we do not consider that an individual could have had a legitimate expectation that there would be no consequences of their behaviour. Again, I remind noble Lords that we are talking here about individuals who have committed acts that go to the heart of our national security.

In conclusion, this is a limited power that will apply to the most serious cases involving national security and those taking up arms against British or allied forces. The Secretary of State will continue to exercise her power with due consideration and within the existing safeguards for such cases. I have taken note of the points that have been made in this debate, and having time to go through the particular provisions of Clause 60 has been very worthwhile. I have noted the suggestion of the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, that between now and Report we have a meeting to discuss the implications of Clause 60. Indeed, I have noted the positive suggestions made by a number of noble Lords. In the mean time, I hope that the noble Lord will withdraw his amendments.

6.15 pm

Lord Pannick: Before the Minister sits down, perhaps I could ask a question. He gave a very comprehensive reply—a very helpful one, if I may say so—but, unless I missed it, I do not think that he responded to the concern that, far from promoting the security of this country, Clause 60 will damage security. This is because the clause will make it more difficult to remove dangerous people, and make it more likely that dangerous people who are temporarily abroad will be sent back to this country because they no longer have a British passport. I wonder whether the Minister wants to say anything about those concerns.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: That was of course a consideration in the discussions that led to the tabling of this clause. I think that I did address this point, in the sense that an individual who poses a threat to this country can have restrictions placed on them other than the deprivation of citizenship. I am sure the noble Lord will understand this point. I wish to make

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the point that this is a balanced judgment. The Home Secretary, who after all has to exercise powers within the law on this matter, believes that the law is deficient in this respect. She seeks to change it, and is doing so through this Bill. Knowing her, I do not think that she would make that decision if she felt that it would in any way weaken the security of this country.

Baroness Lister of Burtersett: I am sorry to ask the Minister yet another question. However, I asked a very specific question which was raised by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, and I do not believe that the Government have responded to our second legislative scrutiny report. If they have, the response has certainly not yet arrived on my desk. The question was: how many of those who have been deprived of citizenship in recent years have been abroad, and why will the Government not provide that information to Parliament? As the JCHR said, surely Parliament has the right to have that information in considering Clause 60.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The noble Baroness is right. I was getting muddled between the two responses. The second report has not yet been responded to; it will be. I hope that it can address some of the issues raised by the noble Baroness.

The noble Baroness, Lady Smith, referred to the question of whether there was some difference between what James Brokenshire said and what I said in my speech. Perhaps I can explain that by saying that where a person cannot be removed to another country, we would consider whether a discretionary granting of leave was appropriate. An option would be for the person to be placed on limited leave, with conditions such as regular reporting restrictions or the need to notify the Home Office before taking up work or study in a particular field. I hope that explains that there is no difference, and I think it backs up my supplementary answer to the noble Baroness when we debated the issue.

Baroness Smith of Basildon: I am grateful to the noble Lord for coming back to me on that point, but there are numerous other questions that he has failed to answer. He has not answered any questions about whether there are any other areas of law in this country that allow for two categories of citizenship. He has not told us whether there have been discussions or consultations with other countries to which British passport holders may travel—

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: On that first question, perhaps I could ask what the noble Baroness means by “two categories” of citizenship.

Baroness Smith of Basildon: In most countries, if someone is a citizen then they are a citizen. If someone is a natural born citizen of this country, their citizenship cannot be removed and they cannot be made stateless. Yet in this Bill the Government propose that if someone is a naturalised citizen of this country—as are Members of your Lordships’ House—they could have their citizenship taken away, even if they would be made stateless. I thought that that was clear, and that it was the point of what the Government sought to achieve.

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Lord Taylor of Holbeach: Surely the categorisation is about naturalised British citizens and not about whether they are stateless. Therefore, this is in existence because it already exists in UK law.

Baroness Smith of Basildon: I think that the noble Lord is missing the point. My understanding was that if someone was a naturalised British citizen, he or she had all the rights and responsibilities of any other citizen. That is changed by this legislation. I was asking whether any other area of law is responsible. The noble Lord can come back to me on that. The position would be changed by this legislation because a naturalised citizen can be stripped of their citizenship and be left stateless. If I am correct in my understanding, a British-born citizen could not be left stateless. Only naturalised citizens could be made stateless by this legislation. Perhaps the noble Lord wants to respond to that.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: I am afraid that there is a disconnect in our train of thoughts on this. I will write to the noble Baroness to explain exactly how this operates. The only change made by Clause 60 is that statelessness is no longer a reason why naturalised citizens should not be deprived of their citizenship. It is not a question of two categories of citizenship based on whether a person is naturalised or not.

Baroness Smith of Basildon: I think that it does and I will look to the lawyers on this issue. I also look forward to receiving the letter. Only naturalised citizens of this country could be made stateless. Natural-born citizens could not be made stateless by this legislation. However, I have other questions. I asked about consultation and discussions with other countries on the impact of people travelling overseas on a British passport and having their citizenship withdrawn. The noble Lord has not come back to me on that point. He has no more information on the 27 people. He has not come back on the issue of someone not being able to get citizenship in another country. We have the short-term answer but not the long-term answer. A number of questions remain unanswered.

The noble Lord is always very gracious and helpful in writing to noble Lords when he has not been able to answer questions. However, this clause has had very little scrutiny in Parliament. To have tabled it at the last minute, literally about 24 hours before Report in the other place, was disgraceful. It would have been helpful if all those answers had been addressed today to allow a full and proper debate. I am grateful to the noble Lord for writing to us but that is not a good principle when issues have not been debated in the other place. After the noble Lord has written, the only discussion that we will have will be at Report stage. I find that unsatisfactory.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: If the noble Baroness had advised me in advance of the things she was uncertain of, I would have done my best to provide her with those answers. I have limited resources available to me at the Dispatch Box and a limited amount of time. I have suggested to the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, that it would be very useful if we could discuss this matter before Report stage. In the mean time, if noble Lords

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have any questions other than those that they have raised today, which I will address in writing, please advise me. It is important to get this legislation right. I believe in being able to scrutinise legislation in this House, in Committee and at all stages of a Bill.

I apologise for not answering all the questions but I have done my best. The noble Lord, Lord Pannick, advised me that he considered that my reply had been helpful. I seek to be helpful to the House.

Baroness Smith of Basildon: The noble Lord always seeks to be helpful. My point is a broader one of scrutiny and the lack of time available for discussion, but I would welcome any meeting. I also say that my resources are somewhat more limited than his. I sometimes felt that in his response we were having a slightly different debate. He was responding to a debate about deprivation of citizenship. Most noble Lords who spoke in today’s debate were talking about statelessness and its implications for the security of the UK. There was little argument that there might be a need at times for people to have their citizenship taken from them or revoked. That was understood. It is the changes being made by this legislation that would create a position of statelessness that cause the most concern.

The reason I say that great scrutiny is required is to establish evidence as to whether the measure is necessary. I thought that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, was extremely helpful in his take on the measure before us. I also ask whether this measure achieves the objectives that the Government are seeking. The noble Lord and his party do not have a monopoly on wanting the citizens of this country to be safe and secure. I am sure that is the objective of every Member of your Lordships’ House. However, we do have to consider the wider impact and unintended consequences of any legislation that is brought before your Lordships’ House. There is much concern about the measure. Noble Lords have asked many questions and the opinions of respected and eminent lawyers have been quoted. That is because of concern that it does not achieve the objectives that the Government are seeking. Most importantly, it does not make the citizens of this country, or more widely, safer or more secure if people are deprived of citizenship in a way that makes them stateless.

I take on board entirely the comments made by the noble Lord. He was talking about individuals who have committed acts that are a danger to this country and that may involve terrorism. Why, if there is evidence of that, could it not be presented as evidence against those people? Instead, the Government want to make them stateless. There are consequences around statelessness that give rise to concern for public, national and international safety. I look forward to receiving further information from the Minister. The jury is still out on this. I have not been convinced that the measure proposed by the Government does what it seeks to do or is an appropriate way forward. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 74 withdrawn.

Amendments 75 to 79 not moved.

Clause 60 agreed.

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Amendment 79A

Moved by Baroness Hamwee

79A: After Clause 60, insert the following new Clause—

“Reviews of deprivation of citizenship resulting in statelessness

(1) The Secretary of State must appoint a person to review the operation of section 40(4A) of the British Nationality Act 1981 (deprivation of citizenship), (“the independent reviewer”).

(2) The independent reviewer must carry out a review of the operation of the section in respect of each calendar year, starting with the first complete calendar year beginning after the passing of this Act.

(3) Each review must be completed as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of the calendar year to which the review relates.

(4) The independent reviewer must send to the Secretary of State a report on the outcome of each review carried out under subsection (2) as soon as reasonably practicable after completion of the review.

(5) On receiving a report under subsection (4), the Secretary of State must lay a copy of it before Parliament.

(6) The Secretary of State may pay to the independent reviewer—

(a) expenses incurred in carrying out the functions of the reviewer under this section, and

(b) such allowances as the Secretary of State determines.”

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, the Minister has just told the House his view on the importance of the scrutiny of legislation. I have never doubted that for a moment. However, I think he probably agrees that one needs to scrutinise the implementation of legislation as well. My Amendment 79A would do that. I think that the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, and I must have tabled our amendments within seconds of one another. When his was printed, I was glad to see that mine was very close to his, and I am glad that he has added his name to mine.

I do not claim credit for any originality of drafting. I have lifted it almost word for word from other legislation that provides for the involvement of the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation. As we are told in the information pack, although the Government do not want to be overly prescriptive about the phrase,

“seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom”,

they envisage it covering those involved in terrorism or espionage or in taking up arms against British or allied forces. We will all have been impressed by the diligence, the terrier-like qualities and balance shown by the various reviewers who have held the post. I suspect that the current reviewer might undertake the work, whether he was asked to do so by legislation or not. Clearly, this issue is closely related to other legislation and to other steps which the Government might take in response to—or perhaps even before they need to respond to—a terrorism threat. If we are to have Clause 60, we need a clause such as this in order to provide for a review on a periodic basis, the provision of the review to the Secretary of State, and her laying it before Parliament. I beg to move.

6.30 pm

Lord Pannick: My Lords, I have added my name to Amendment 79A on the role of the independent reviewer and I agree with everything that has been said by the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee. I have tabled two

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further amendments in this group. Amendment 79C has the support of the noble Baronesses, Lady Lister of Burtersett and Lady Smith of Basildon, and the noble Lord, Lord Roberts of Llandudno. It would require the Secretary of State to set up a code giving guidance as to the practices to be followed in any case of deprivation of citizenship. Amendment 79D, which has the support of the noble Baroness, Lady Lister, and the noble Lord, Lord Roberts, would introduce a sunset clause, and I am hopeful that the noble Baroness, Lady Smith, may add her vocal support to the amendment.

There are real concerns about Clause 60, as we debated in the previous group of amendments. If we are to have Clause 60 at all, I think that we need all or some of these protective provisions—an annual review, a code of guidance and a sunset clause—to set out some criteria for the application of the clause and to ensure that Parliament can take an informed and periodic look at this matter in the light of the practical experience of the operation of the clause.

Baroness Lister of Burtersett: My Lords, I am pleased to support these amendments. I think that I have already said more than enough about Clause 60, but I could not help but notice that no one spoke in support of it other than the Minister, and so I see these amendments as a kind of absolute bottom line. If we are going to be saddled with Clause 60, I hope that the Government will see fit to accept these procedural process amendments as a kind of minimal response to the grave concerns that have been expressed across the Committee.

Baroness Smith of Basildon: My Lords, my comments are equally brief. I have added my name to one of the amendments, and I think that the idea of an independent reviewer and a sunset clause are reasonable and worth further consideration by the Government. Like our amendment, they would provide greater oversight, which I would have thought all parties would welcome. Perhaps I may add one point. It may be possible that an existing independent reviewer could fulfil the role, and I think that we would all be willing to discuss how that could best be achieved.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: My Lords, after the passion of the previous group of amendments, I find this a little easier to respond to. The noble Baroness, Lady Smith, has made the point that there is a pre-existing independent monitor, and indeed my noble friend Lady Hamwee referred to the role occupied by John Vine. His role was set up under the UK Borders Act 2007, and he is able to monitor and report on the efficacy and effectiveness of functions relating to immigration, asylum and nationality. That includes the effectiveness of decision-making on deprivation of British citizenship, so it exists already.

This is not an annual review process, and I think that that is probably one of the things we disagree on. With all his independent inspections, the chief inspector is permitted to examine only individual cases for the purpose or in the context of considering a general issue. But it illustrates that in addition to the judicial scrutiny of individual cases—I have explained that the

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power of appeal still exists—Parliament has already agreed an independent inspection regime which covers nationality and hence the deprivation of nationality.

Throughout the passage of the Bill, the Government have stressed the serious nature of the cases that will be considered under this new power. Clause 60 itself carefully limits the uses of the power to circumstances where an individual’s behaviour meets a new, higher threshold of being,

“seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom”.

This will ensure that the courts subject the strength of the Government’s rationale for deprivation to close and anxious scrutiny in each and every case. In this case, I do not believe a new independent reviewer is necessary.

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the requirement to publish guidance and how individual cases will be considered, evidenced and decided. As I have said, deprivation is nothing new—it has gone on under this Government and previous Governments. Established practice exists, and guidance is published for fraud and deception cases, for example. Every case is different and will have its own case-specific facts. The core requirement on officials is to assess evidence and circumstances, consult colleagues across government and carefully weigh the evidence before making a recommendation to the Home Secretary. This is central to all cases. The Home Secretary herself reviews and personally signs off all deprivation decisions. Beyond this, there is little additional detail that would necessarily be appropriate, given that matters in cases that will fall under Clause 60 will be to do with national security. More importantly, in every case, the individual will be told the reasons for the decision and there will be a statutory right of appeal to the courts in each case.

I will address the bid for a sunset clause in this matter. The Government have a responsibility to protect the public and to respond to threats, and this clause is aimed at dangerous individuals who abuse their British citizenship and threaten the security of the UK. As I have emphasised, the power will be used only against those who pose such a threat. However, it is impossible to predict as and when these threats will emerge and I do not believe it would be appropriate therefore to time-limit the clause.

As I have said, I hope we have an opportunity to meet between now and Report, and this will no doubt be one of those matters which could be discussed at that stage. In the light of these points, I hope that the noble Baroness will agree to withdraw the amendment and that other noble Lords will not press theirs.

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, I did not have in mind the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration but the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation—I plagiarised the provisions in current legislation on terrorism for this clause—who I think would be the appropriate reviewer to undertake the work. I am not suggesting a new reviewer. This would fit very well with, and ought to be reviewed by, the same person who considers the application of terrorism legislation. However, I do think that there should be a review and statutory provision for it. I am a little puzzled as to why the Government might resist what,

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in the circumstances of Clause 60, is an extremely mild proposition, but perhaps that is something that we can discuss following this stage of the Bill. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 79A withdrawn.

Amendment 79B had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.

Amendments 79C and 79D not moved.

Clause 61 agreed.

Schedule 8: Embarkation checks

Amendment 79E

Moved by Baroness Hamwee

79E: Schedule 8, page 100, line 11, leave out from “(1)” to end of line 12 and insert—

“(a) after “immigration officer” insert “or designated person”;

(b) after “lawfully” insert “and the basis of his entry including if applicable particulars of his visa”;

(c) after sub-paragraph (1)(b) insert—

“(ba) whether his immigration status has changed during his stay in the United Kingdom,””

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, Schedule 8 provides for designated persons as well as immigration officers to undertake functions in connection with embarkation checks. The purpose of this amendment is not to question the designated persons but to seek, in a world where net immigration numbers and what individuals have been doing in this country before they leave it are so current, reassurance for the Committee. A section in the Immigration Act 1971 allows immigration officers who are dealing with embarkation to determine the identity of the individual, whether he entered the UK lawfully, whether he has complied with conditions of leave to enter or remain and whether his return to the UK is prohibited or restricted.

From time to time we have alluded to issues such as people coming here as students, then staying to undertake work. This may make the question about someone coming here as a student and then leaving when they leave not necessarily the right one to ask; the issues are a little more complicated than that. I am by no means proprietorial about the drafting and freely admit that it is probably rather clumsy; but assuming that the visa particulars are readily available to the immigration officer or designated person, I suggest that on exit from the UK there is a tie-up with these particulars and on whether the immigration status has changed during the stay here.

The broader question is whether the Government have given thought to whether the current powers are enough to marry up all the information with that which has been gained when the individual has come to the UK and whether they cover the issues that are a pretty hot topic on the question of net migration. I beg to move.

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Lord Avebury: My Lords, this amendment has the effect of empowering the official examining a person embarking in the UK to establish what the basis of the embarking person’s entry to the UK was and the particulars of his visa if applicable. It also allows the official to establish whether the person’s immigration status changed during his stay in the UK.

The reasons for embarkation checks are to prevent offenders from fleeing abroad to escape justice and to identify those who were given limited leave to remain but failed to depart by the expiry of their leave. These reasons are wholly justifiable and we do not in any way question or dispute the necessity of embarkation checks; in fact we have called for embarkation checks as a means to verify that people leave the country when they are supposed to. We are already checking 90% of air passengers and 75% of all those leaving the country, and I am sure that my noble friend the Minister will be able to confirm that we are on course to reach 100% by some time next year. If he can be more precise about the date, I am sure your Lordships would like to have that information.

6.45 pm

My noble friend has explained why we think it would be useful to record the particular additional information called for in this amendment. Bearing in mind the need to minimise the disruption to the movement of departing passengers, I believe that my noble friend is right in assuming that the particulars are readily available and that the information could be picked up from a routine passport scan, which would not require any other interaction between the passenger and the official.

The Home Office factsheet on embarkation checks says that the designated officials who will carry out the checks will be those working for carriers and port operators who are,

“already involved in outbound passenger processes”.

Will my noble friend the Minister confirm that, in general, all that will be involved is the scan of the passport and that only when this flags up a signal—for example, that the holder is wanted for a criminal offence or that he has overstayed his permitted leave to remain—would any further action by the official be required? I would be grateful if my noble friend could confirm my understanding of the position.

Baroness Smith of Basildon: My Lords, I have just a couple of queries relating to Schedule 8 on “Embarkation checks”. This obviously requires co-operation and action from the airlines.

I was a bit concerned to receive an e-mail and a briefing note from the British Air Transport Association expressing its concerns about the schedule—not about the principle or what it seeks to do but the way it could be achieved. It says that it has worked very closely with the Government to ensure that e-Borders is in place—it has invested in that—but it is concerned that it will not be able to use passenger data for e-Borders as a new system is being brought in. It is seeking assurances from the Minister about the action that is being taken to work with the UK airlines, which of course have responsibility. It is concerned about longer

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boarding times and, most importantly, the risk at borders, because it feels that introducing the checks at border gates will require unqualified customer service staff to take on the role of an immigration officer without having the training to do so. It also feels that in some airports there are physical constraints because there is not sufficient or adequate infrastructure to support the efficient and timely carrying out of the checks. It also mentions issues around cost.

My understanding is that the British Air Transport Association has put a proposal to the Home Office on how to address this and how it can meet the requirements of the legislation without incurring additional costs, delays, constraints or compromises in security, which is another concern. I would be grateful if the noble Lord could address those points, and tell us what discussions are ongoing at the moment and when the Home Office expects to reach agreement on this. My fear is that if the association says that it physically cannot undertake measures in the Bill, a very serious situation then emerges.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: My Lords, this is an opportunity to discuss this development, which forms part of the strategy and is widely supported.

I am very pleased to have the support of my noble friend Lord Avebury on this issue. He asked whether he was correct in his assumptions. I can tell him that he is: for the vast majority of individuals, the embarkation checks will be quite simple and straightforward and the existing officials employed by ports and airlines will be trained to do this task using very limited examination. The checks will allow those who currently have a role in outbound passenger processes to be designated and trained to perform the basic checks to establish a person’s identity, to collect the data necessary to identify threats or persons of interest and to confirm departure, so it is only those who are of interest who would be dealt with. It is not intended that designated persons should exercise any other powers of an immigration officer, such as powers of search or detention.

The exit checks will allow us more easily to identify those who have overstayed their visas and will help us improve measurements of migration so that we have a sounder basis for policy-making. The Government are confident that Clause 61 and Schedule 8 as drafted will provide the full range of powers necessary to conduct embarkation checks at the border and to collect all the information necessary to deliver in full an exit check capability.

The noble Baroness referred to a briefing that she had had. I have not seen that briefing but we are working closely with airlines to ensure that those checks can be conducted with minimum if any delay. We want to control departures in the same way as we control people coming into this country. We have introduced a new system for general aviation, the collaborative business portal, which allows operators to enter their data online. We do not plan to use the embarkation check powers in the Bill for general aviation and general maritime operators. We are working with them on a co-operative basis to enable them to come up with solutions that deliver our objectives, and those discussions are going very well.

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I was asked by my noble friend whether we would achieve 100% coverage of exit checks. As I say, our target date is April 2015 and we are still sticking to that. We will have the arrangements in place to enable checks on those who leave the UK on scheduled commercial air, sea and rail services.

The noble Baroness, Lady Smith, asked whether this would lead to long delays at ports. We see the checks as being important, but our aim is to integrate them within the grain of existing processes in order to minimise the impact on passengers at ports. We are introducing the powers in the Bill so that we do not need to use immigration officers to do this work but, rather, can use existing staff, properly trained to deal with this particular process.

Baroness Smith of Basildon: I think that that is the point I was making. One of the issues raised by air transport operators was that it would not be qualified immigration staff undertaking checks but rather customer service staff.

Also, I think the Minister said that there would be two dates. He said that all the exit checks would be in place by April 2015 but then said that the system would not be rolled out in every place. I am trying to understand whether this really makes our borders more secure, or whether the fact that unqualified customer service staff instead of immigration staff are undertaking checks will cause a problem.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: Not at all. These are not customer service staff but designated persons who will have the authority to do the task of exit checks. They will be designated and trained to perform the basic checks required that will deliver the policy.

I do not think that I said that this would be rolled out. I said that we intended to have the checks in place by April 2015. That is the plan, and it is going according to plan. I hope that the Committee will accept that.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe (Con): My Lords, will my noble friend comment as to whether this power will allow checks which might be appropriate in certain circumstances or whether the plan is to check the passport of every person leaving the UK? If I go to Düsseldorf, is British Airways in future going to be checking my immigration status? I think it would be helpful to have clarity as to the intention.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: All I can is that if my noble friend is flying to Düsseldorf, she can expect to have her passport checked at that time. She will know that that is what is happening. There is no difference.

Baroness Smith of Basildon: I am sorry, but I seek clarification on this. Does that mean that those airlines already compliant with providing passenger data through e-Borders will still have to have these additional checks undertaken at the point of leaving the country?

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: We are working with the airlines to find ways in which the existing advance passenger information can be incorporated into these checks. The advance passenger information provides only so much information. It is very useful and gives

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names, but it does not necessarily give the details of the individual’s passport or any visa requirements on that passport. That is a matter for examination, and the designated staff will be in a position to check that material at the time the person leaves the country.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: My Lords, I am sure it would be helpful to understand this in a bit more detail because now you put the detail of your passport online when you order your ticket. The passport is not checked, except very summarily, when you get on to the flight. It really is an understanding of how this is going to happen. It may be that you are going to put more advance information online when you buy your ticket. I am very supportive in principle of the measures, but I think the logistics are very important.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The logistics are a matter for detailed planning with the airlines. What the Bill does—what this schedule provides for—is give those people who are responsible for dealing with this work the powers which at present they do not have. Advance passenger information already supports electronic texts on a large number of outward-bound journeys. API will be part of the exit checks solution along with

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other options, including checks conducted and data collected at the port of departure. These matters are being discussed so that this can be done efficiently, but API is a contributory element of this provision. As to the detail of how it is going to operate in every form of transport—every airport, railway station and port—I cannot possibly say at this stage. The powers of this Bill give those who will be challenged to perform this task the right to conduct those checks. Otherwise the checks would have to be done by immigration officers and we do not consider that this is an appropriate role for the Border Force.

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, this debate has gone well beyond my amendment. I am not entirely sure that I had an answer to my amendment, but perhaps my concentration lapsed. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 79E withdrawn.

Schedule 8 agreed.

House resumed.

House adjourned at 6.59 pm.