Members of the Lords debated the relationship between effective immigration controls and the interests of the security of the UK on Thursday 4 July.
Lord Marlesford (Conservative) began the debate, outlining his views on the balance between protecting our borders and being open to the world. He spoke about the ongoing threat of terrorism, and how he feels the ‘UK Border Force should be subject to similar standards of discipline and nationality qualification as the Armed Forces.’ He also highlighted the e-Borders system and asked: ‘What is the point of laying down conditions for entry... when we have no way of knowing whether people who should have left our shores have actually done so?’
Baroness Hamwee (Liberal Democrat), spoke about the vulnerability of young people and how they could be groomed for 'sexual exploitation, gang recruitment or terrorism.’ She suggested the Lords ‘turn the question on its head and ask what security we provide for migrants who are open to exploitation.’
Lord Rosser (Labour), outlined opposition plans to bring down the pace of migration through ‘stronger controls on people coming to do low-skilled jobs and action against bogus colleges’, and proposed the creation of new training programmes to help the young unemployed get into the sectors that are recruiting most from abroad.
Lord Taylor of Holbeach (Conservative), responded on behalf of the government. He outlined the use of technology to protect borders, including the collection of advanced passenger data, saying: ‘Work to secure our border begins far beyond the UK’s shores. We work around the world to ensure that we are in the right place at the right time with the right information to stop the source of the threat before it reaches our shores.’