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Lords examines immigration bill

13 October 2020

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The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill completed its third reading in the Lords on Monday 12 October.

Members discussed a technical amendment on the right of EEA and Swiss national children, who are entitled to care support, to remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme. This was agreed to without a vote.

Members also discussed the progress of the bill through the House at its conclusion of Lords stages. 

Following completion of third reading, the bill now passes to the Commons for consideration of Lords amendments.

Lords report stage day three: Tuesday 6 October

Members discussed a range of topics, including access to public funds and bail hearings for immigration detainees, and asked the government to think again on leave to remain for victims of modern slavery.

There was one division (vote) on a suggested change (amendment) to the bill.

This amendment (amendment 27) proposed that a new clause be added to the bill to grant leave to remain for EEA nationals who are confirmed victims of modern slavery.

Members voted 312 in favour and 211 against, and so the change was made.

Report stage day two: Monday 5 October

Members discussed a range of topics including claims for asylum, short term EEA or Swiss national visitors for business purposes and immigration detention powers. They asked the government to think again on six areas of the bill, including social care, refugees and physical proof of status.

There were seven divisions (votes) on proposed amendments (changes) to the bill.

The first three divisions were scheduled to take place during the first day of report stage on Wednesday 30 September, having been discussed in the chamber, but were deffered to Monday 5 October due to a technical issue.

Division 1

The first amendment (amendment 3) requires the government to commission and publish an independent report on the impact of ending free movement on the social care sector.

Members voted 304 in favour and 224 against, so the change was made.

Division 2

The second amendment (amendment 11) proposes that UK citizens falling within the scope of the EU Withdrawal Agreement, the EEA EFTA separation agreement, or the Swiss citizens’ rights agreement, can return to the United Kingdom accompanied by family members.

Members voted 312 in favour and 223 against, and so the change was made.

Division 3

The third amendment (amendment 14) proposes that the children of EEA and Swiss nationals who are in care, or entitled to care leaving support, are granted automatic Indefinite Leave to Remain under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Members voted 323 in favour and 227 against, so the change was made.

Division 4

The fourth amendment (amendment 15) proposes that rights under UK law to family reunion should continue after the transition period and that unaccompanied child refugees in Europe will have a legal route to sanctuary in the UK.

Members voted 317 in favour and 223 against, so the change was made.

Division 5

The fifth amendment (amendment 18) requires the government to provide physical proof of settled and pre-settled status to those who make a successful application through the EU Settlement Scheme.

Members voted 298 in favour and 192 against, so the change was made.

Division 6 

The sixth amendment (amendment 19) proposes that EEA citizens or Swiss nationals under the age of 18 may enter the UK for a stay not exceeding 30 days in any calendar year.

Members voted 152 in favour and 166 against, so the change was not made.

Division 7

The seventh amendment (amendment 20) proposes that a limit of 28 days be placed on the length of time EEA or Swiss nationals may be held in immigration detention.

Members voted 184 in favour and 156 against, so the change was made.

Report stage day one: Wednesday 29 September

Members discussed a range of topics, including the impact of ending free movement on the social care sector, indefinite leave to remain for children in care and unaccompanied child refugees.

Four changes (amendments) that members put forward went to a vote (division).

The first amendment (amendment 2) proposes to remove clause 1 of the bill, which repeals retained EU law relating to free movement. Members voted 113 in favour and 262 against, so the change was not made.

Due to a technical issue, subsequent divisions (votes) were not able to take place during the evening of 30 September. In order to enable members to continue their scrutiny of the bill, divisions (votes) on amendments 3, 11 and 14 were deferred to Monday 5 October when the bill will resume its report stage. 

Committee stage day four: Wednesday 30 September

Members discussed changes on a range of topics, including children in care, refugee family reunion rules and victims of modern slavery and trafficking.

Committee stage day three: Monday 14 September

Members discussed a range of topics, including immigration checks on EEA and Swiss nationals under the Right to Rent scheme, late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme and health charge exemption.

Committee stage day two: Wednesday 9 September

Members discussed work rules for asylum seekers, a limit on the number of EEA and Swiss nationals allowed to enter the UK to take up work, fees relating to registering for British citizenship and detention conditions.

Committee stage day one: Monday 7 September

Members discussed a range of topics, including the scope of the delegated regulation-making power, free movement rights at the end of the Brexit transition period and children and the EU settlement scheme.

Second reading: Wednesday 22 July

Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative), Minister of  State in the Home Office, opened the debate and responded on behalf of the government.

Members discussed a range of topics highlighted by the bill, including points-based immigrations systems, healthcare levies paid by workers from overseas and the use of e-passport gates at airport border controls.

Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill

This bill aims to:

  • end rights to free movement under retained EU law
  • repeal other retained EU law relating to immigration
  • confer power to modify retained direct EU legislation relating to social security co-ordination.

 Image: PA