§ Mr. Graham Allen (Nottingham, North)
I beg to move,That the Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules (House of Commons Paper No. 725), a copy of which was laid before this House on 5th July, be disapproved.I understand that with this it will be convenient to discuss at the same time the following motions:That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Asylum Appeals (Procedure) Rules 1993 (S.I., 1993. No. 1661). dated 5th July 1993, a copy of which was laid before this House on 5th July, be annulled.That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Immigration Appeals (Procedure) (Amendment) Rules 1993 (S.I., 1993, No. 1662), dated 5th July 1993. a copy of which was laid before this House on 5th July. be annulled.That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty. praying that the Immigration (Restricted Right of Appeal against Deportation) (Exemption) Order 1993 (S.I., 1993, No. 1656), dated 2nd July 1993, a copy of which was laid before this House on 5th July, be annulled.There is something fundamentally wrong with a Parliament that allows such matters of life and death to be put not in a Bill but in rules to be discussed briefly at night, or even in Committee.[Interruption.] Even so, the Minister must now be clear—[interruption.]
§ Madam Speaker
Order. I should appreciate it if those hon. Members who are leaving would so so quietly.
§ Mr. Allen
Even so, the Minister must now be clear about our opposition to these mean-minded measures. They will do little to help those fleeing for their lives from political persecution and they will do immense harm to Britain's tradition as a haven against oppression.
The Opposition have consistently rejected the basic premises that underlie the Government's motivation for introducing these restrictive measures. The fear of waves of immigration, so inelegantly and bogusly supplied by the hon. Member for Davyhulme (Mr. Churchill), reflects Conservative inhibitions that have held this country back socially, economically and politically. Unfortunately, that paranoia is also gripping other right-wing parties in Europe.
The German Government's inability to address the racism of its far right needs no elaboration. The reaction within Italy's northern political movement is a worrying development for its future race relations. Last week, in France, the National Assembly began its medieval quest for zero immigration. The Assembly passed laws to restrict French nationals' ability to bring third-country spouses to France. Random identity checks on immigrants and unchecked expulsions now seem to be Government policies. Those arc the policies of so-called moderate Conservatives. I dread to think what a radical Conservative contemplates, let alone the hard core of far right-wingers in the European political spectrum.
When it comes to drafting harsh immigration rules, the British Government's version of the resolution put to the ad hoc group of European Immigration Ministers shows that this is one area where Britain, sadly, leads the rest of Europe. Where we could be leading, pressing for a directive against race discrimination, we draft instead the lowest moral denominator on asylum. These asylum rules 300 are borne of the spurious problem of bogus asylum applicants—a problem invented for political gain before the last election.
The key test for Opposition Members in approaching the rules is whether they will take us into a new era of compassionate, fair and effective appraisal of applications to the United Kingdom for asylum. It is clear that they will not. The impact of the rules will be to reduce dramatically the possibility of a successful application from a legitimate asylum seeker being lodged.
The disastrous consequence of the safe third-country proposals—paragraph 180 of the rules—is already being witnessed daily. For example, there was the man who, on asking for asylum at Heathrow back in May, having fled from Colombia on a direct flight to the United Kingdom, was returned to Portugal because the plane on which he had arrived had been forced to make an emergency landing in the Azores for one day. In spite of the fact that he already had a sister in the United Kingdom—a reason for him to apply for asylum here—he was returned to Lisbon, where he suffered a nervous breakdown and ended up in a mental institution. Now, thanks to hard work by his sister and lawyers, he has been able to enter the United Kingdom. Do we have to make this the standard practice for anyone seeking to come here? Do we have to heap further pressure and indignity upon those fleeing persecution?
The most odious paragraph—there is severe competition for the title—is 100G. Under that provision, the Home Office asylum division is now required to take into account various specific factors when application for asylum is made to it. Each one looks unexceptionable on face value. However, on closer examination, it appears that each one could be used to turn around a person desperately and legitimately fleeing for his life.
For example, if an applicant fails to make his application immediately on arrival in the United Kingdom, the application may he deemed not credible. But, as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has pointed out, if one is in fear of losing one's life and has been admitted to a country, it may well he that one's natural reaction is to delay one's application for fear of being refused entry and immediately returned.
Similar arguments were made by colleagues in Committee and on the Floor regarding the other criteria: false representations, damaged documents, currently lodged applications, full and prompt disclosure, and the safe third country rule.
How can asylum seekers make a reasonable explanation as to why they may have destroyed a document. claimed in a group, not made a full and prompt disclosure, or left a so-called safe third country, when the Government do not give them a reasonable amount of time to gather their thoughts or obtain considered legal advice? We reject the Government's imposed time limits as totally inadequate.
All the catches that I have explained have been argued about in Committee and on the Floor throughout the passage of the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Bill. We argue that these criteria are too complex to be judged immediately when someone enters our country. These arc not petty legislative drafting points. If we get this wrong, people can be sent hack to their death.
The UNHCR has pointed out those fears time and time again since these measures were introduced in draft in November. The Government hake ignored every concern 301 expressed. It appears that the only way to get the Government to respond is through the generation of publicity. Thus, after massive newspaper coverage, we now have the minor concession extending the au pair system to men.
The Government were shamed into allocating 1,000 places for Bosnian ex-detainees by media coverage of starved and tortured people from Bosnia. Can the British Government never take a moral lead, or is it another example of what the right hon. Member for Kingston upon Thames (Mr. Lamont) called a Government in office rather than in power?
§ Mr. Michael Fabricant (Mid-Staffordshire)
Have the hon. Gentleman and his party learnt nothing from the instability in Germany because of that country's immigration policy?
§ Mr. Allen
I do not know if that question deserves a reply. The policy of the British Government in allowing 1,000 individuals into Britain from the Bosnian territory is pathetic. Small though the number is, we still do not have 1,000 people from Bosnia in a safe haven in the United Kingdom since November. That is appalling. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will raise that with the Minister before he starts comparing the records of Governments in other European countries.
§ Mr. John Carlisle (Luton, North)
The hon. Gentleman, despite his laconic and somewhat lazy style, which I suppose he thinks is attractive to the House, has not answered the question put to him by my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Staffordshire (Mr. Fabricant). Does the hon. Gentleman's fixation with numbers extend to the actual cases? He seems to be accusing the British Government of not taking more than 1,000 Bosnian refugees on the basis that the number is wrong. Do not the individual cases matter to him, or is it Labour party policy to let everybody in and talk about the numbers afterwards?
§ Mr. Allen
The hon. Gentleman could not have been listening to what I said. After great pressure from Opposition Members, not least throughout the debates on the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Bill, the Government finally, after the coverage of horrendous events in the media, decided to allow into the United Kingdom 1,000 individuals from the war-torn areas of Bosnia. That small quota has still not been fulfilled. Perhaps we can talk about other numbers when the Government have met the quota that they set to help the people of Bosnia.
§ Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman (Lancaster)
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, were we to take in too many people, we would be assisting in ethnic cleansing? The policy of the Government has been to try to get people settled as near as possible to their homes, so that they may return when peace comes. Bringing them here is unlikely to enable them to get back to their homes, where they really wish to live.
§ Mr. Allen
Most political asylum seekers do not seek settlement in this country but prefer to return home. They will no doubt seek to do that once the situation at home has settled down. In any event, allowing in 1,000 individuals hardly represents a dent in the Bosnian problem. It is window dressing to placate people who see television pictures coming from Bosnia. I repeat that even the Government's target of 1,000 has not been met. Perhaps the Minister will say when he expects to meet that pathetic target of 1,000 political refugees.
The other statutory instruments come from a similar stable and are equally deeply flawed. I refer specifically to the procedure rules governing asylum appeals. Those procedures, which must be followed when applying for an asylum appeal, are riddled with the notion that all applicants must be suspected of false motives.
The instruments introduce for the first time in British law a 48-hour time limit for lodging appeals for people whose cases are certified by the Home Secretary as groundless. It is ludicrous to imagine that that will allow adequate time for serious arguments or legal advice to be given. The hearing is then set within three days and completed within a further seven days. That will not allow adequate time for decent appeal arguments to be drafted or even for proper legal advice to be given.
The prescribed forms attached to the measures, which must be used when lodging an appeal, are also a matter of concern to immigration case workers and lawyers. Perhaps the Minister can make it clear whether photocopies of the forms, rather than the original forms, are acceptable or whether there is an absolute and strict requirement for the prescribed forms to be used.
A further difficulty is the required signed declaration:I declare that the information I have given is true and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief. The finality of the wording suggests that giving any new information or evidence at a later stage may be taken as deceit. Again, the Minister may wish to comment on whether that is the intention of the measures.
Additionally, I see no reason for the very strict requirement that a legal representative cannot sign on behalf of an applicant. It is permitted in other immigration procedures, so why rule out the ability in this case?
We are meant to be grateful for the fact that there is a new right of appeal against asylum refusals when, at the same time, the Government have abolished all rights of appeal for anyone refused a visitor's visa to come to Britain, for example, to see relatives, for holidays, weddings or other family occasions. However, the Government's policy, in establishing a new right of appeal in cases of asylum, however cursory, recognises the fact that mistakes will always be made and, as it can be a question of life and death, it is vital that there is a right of appeal.
The measures are the Government's squalid contribution to the development of European immigration policies. They are certain proof of the repressive direction in which Europe is heading—"fortress Europe". Fortress Europe is becoming a reality, and it is to our undying shame that one of its foundation stones is being laid in the British Parliament tonight.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Charles Wardle)
The House has witnessed yet another ritual performance from the hon. 303 Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen). He has rehearsed the same groundless objections to our sensible, practical and fair-minded measures, which are now to be found in the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993.
We have been debating asylum and immigration matters for about eight months, and it ill behoves the hon. Gentleman to confuse on the Floor of the House the removal of an asylum applicant to a safe third country with the return of that applicant to the country in which he or she claims to have a well-founded fear of persecution. The two matters are entirely separate, as I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will agree on reflection. He knows full well that under the Act there is the right to an oral hearing for every refused asylum applicant. The fact that he bases his objections on whether or not there is an appeal seems to be stretching credulity.
Talking of stretching credulity, let us think a little further about Bosnia. The hon. Gentleman said several times that the Government had agreed to accept 1,000 people from Bosnia. As he knows, because he was here when I made the statement in the House last November, at that time we agreed to accept 1,000 ex-detainees from Bosnia, selected by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and their dependants. Our estimate was that it would mean about 4,000 Bosnians arriving here.
It does not end there, however, because the hon. Gentleman must know from previous debates that, since September 1991, about 70,000 people have come here from the former Yugoslavia, of whom approximately 7,000 have applied for asylum. He failed to tell the House that our offer to the UNHCR is the second highest after Germany's. I wish that he had taken the opportunity to compare the British offer with that of the United States. The United States offered to take 300 ex-detainees and said that, with family dependants, it would take a total of 1,000 people. Like the British Government, the United States Government have not yet been able to get the full number that they asked for, because UNHCR has not identified a sufficient number of ex-detainees.
The British Government's response has been to suggest that UNHCR liberalises the criteria for selecting people and adds other vulnerable individual cases. Those may include someone who has not been in a detention camp, such as a woman who has been raped and seen her family butchered. She and her direct dependants should be able to come here within that limit of 1,000. UNHCR has agreed to our suggestion.
§ Mr. Wardle
UNHCR's criteria were drawn extremely tightly. For reasons which the hon. Gentleman would surely support, we suggested to UNHCR that we should broaden the criteria.
This country's support in the humanitarian effort in the terrible conflict in Bosnia has been enormous. My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for Overseas Development announced in another place recently that a further £18.5 million would be added to the £113 million aid contribution that has already gone from this country to 304 Bosnia. We have contributed troops, pilots, mercy flights, doctors, nurses, medical supplies, vast quantities of food, clothing, road transport, drivers, mechanics, engineers, housing shelters, and technicians dealing with water and power supplies. On reflection, Opposition Members will appreciate just what the British commitment has been to those terrible problems.
§ Mr. Robert Maclennan (Caithness and Sutherland)
To put all that in context, will the Minister say how many refugees from former Yugoslavia have been received in Germany?
§ Mr. Wardle
I can give the hon. Gentleman an estimate. I understand that about 600,000 people from former Yugoslavia have arrived in Germany. However, that was neither a decision by the German Government nor a declaration of intent by a German politician. People simply arrived across the border because of the geography. Whereas, before this terrible conflict began, this country had a community of people from former Yugoslavia of some 14,000, Germany had some 700,000 guest workers, or gastarbeiter. It is therefore not surprising that, because of those connections and Germany's geography, people just turned up there and I respect the efforts made by the German authorities to cope with those numbers of people.
§ Mr. Max Madden (Bradford, West)
Will the Minister confirm that, as of last week, fewer than 600 of the 4,000 Bosnian people whom he announced last October would be received in this country had been received here? What are the British Government and the international community doing to relieve the enormous refugee crisis building up in Croatia? Eighty per cent. of the 300,000 Bosnian refugees are living with Croatian households who are paid $18 per refugee per month, and the money will run out by the end of this month unless the international community comes forward with more. What is being done to ensure that the social crisis that will ensue if those families are evicted on to the streets does not happen?
§ Mr. Wardle
On the hon. Gentleman's first specific point, the figure is not fewer than 600. As of last week, 672 ex-detainees and direct dependants had come to this country, not including 68 wounded people who came here as hospital cases. I know that the hon. Gentleman appreciates the position, because he has been looking at the position in former Yugoslavia. Last month, he was in Karlovac. The hon. Gentleman will know that selection of the former detainees, and now, the other vulnerable cases, has to be a matter for the experts on the ground—UNHCR with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The hon. Gentleman mentioned other displaced people in former Yugoslavia, especially in Croatia. It is estimated that more than 4 million people have been displaced by the conflict, of whom nearly 3.5 million remain in that country. To seek to start moving them beyond the boundaries of what used to be Yugoslavia would be to capitulate to the evil goal of ethnic cleansing, which simply cannot be done.
On his return from his recent visit to Karlovac, where he saw people waiting, the hon. Gentleman wrote to me saying that there were former detainees waiting to be placed. When we checked with UNHCR we found that everyone confirmed as a former detainee had been assigned a country to go to, with their dependants. Fifty of 305 them were coming to this country, and they have since arrived. Other people in Karlovac were pressing their claims on UNHCR and saying that they were former detainees, although they had not been removed from camps by that organisation.
It is now time to deal with the orders that have been prayed against—
§ Mr. Wardle
How can I resist the hon. Gentleman? This is what happened week after week in Committee.
§ Madam Deputy Speaker (Dame Janet Fookes)
Order. Before the hon. Gentleman starts his intervention, may. I remind him that interventions should be short? His previous intervention was not short.
§ Mr. Madden
I thank the Minister for having told me that 300 to 400 men who had applied for detainee registration were being interviewed. May I tell him that Karlovac was being shelled on Saturday night, and that 1,500 men, women and children are still there? What are the Government doing to ensure that that camp is emptied as quickly as possible?
§ Mr. Wardle
As the hon. Gentleman knows, we have told UNHCR that people do not have to be former detainees and that, within our limit of 1,000 vulnerable cases and their dependants, we have the space. It is therefore entirely open to UNHCR, if it so chooses, to designate from among those people a few, many, or all of them, within that limit, to come to this country.
I suspect that I have tested the patience of the House, because hon. Members would like me now to deal with the statutory instruments. It will not come as a surprise to the House that there is a familiar ring to the debate. The rules and statutory instruments that we are considering form part of a package, closely linked with the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993. The package as a whole will enable us to reform decision-making procedures in asylum cases and to refocus on the real priorities in the general immigration appeals system.
The hon. Member for Nottingham, North raised a number of points, which I shall seek to cover. But I know that, if I take too long in doing so, there will be much angry shifting on the Opposition benches, and I would not be so ungentlemanly as to take so much time that the hon. Member for Hackney, North and Stoke Newington (Ms Abbott), for example, did not have the opportunity to say a few words.
It is the package as a whole that we talked about when we were considering the Bill. We made available drafts of the new asylum provisions of the immigration rules and the asylum appeals procedure rules to allow informed debate on the Bill during its passage through both Houses. So there are no surprises in the material now before the House.
The two sets of rules lie at the heart of the debate, and as they were examined exhaustively during the passage of the Act the criticisms from the Opposition have a certain ritual quality. We all know what the rules contain, and we have discussed at length the reasons for their contents. It is time now to get on and make them work in practice.
As the House knows, together with the instruments that we are discussing, we laid a commencement order bringing 306 into force the relevant provisions of the new Act from next Monday, 26 July. I explained during the passage of the Act that we had been building up resources and making practical arrangements in anticipation of the new system over the past two years. We need the new system to draw proper effectiveness and value for money from those new resources. As practitioners have had many months to become familiar with our plans during the Act's protracted progress, there would be no justification for aritificially delaying its implementation now.
Before looking in turn at each of the instruments that we are considering, I remind the House of the situation in the asylum system as we move to implementation of the Act next Monday. There are now some 550 staff in the asylum division, and about 70 further staff will be added this year. We have begun to get to grips with the huge outstanding case load in advance of the new procedures. In the first half of the year there were about 11,500 new asylum applications, suggesting that the annual total this year will be broadly similar to last year's total of just over 24,000. In the past six months, we took more than 17,000 decisions and we continue to make steady inroads into the backlog of undecided applications. Even so, that backlog stood at more than 41,000 at the end of last month. It is coming down, but there is much work to be done.
From next Monday, we shall give priority to processing new applications and will aim to resolve the great majority of them within three months. At the same time, we shall continue to work systematically through the backlog. All refusal decisions taken after 26 July will attract the new appeal rights. All cases, both old and new, will be decided on the same criteria.
The fingerprinting provisions of the Act came into force on Royal Assent on 1 July, and last week we began routinely to take the fingerprints of new applicants both at the ports and at Lunar house, Croydon. It is too early to draw conclusions about their impact, but I am pleased to report that procedures are running smoothly, with applicants being co-operative and experiencing no obvious difficulties or distress.
I turn to the documents and I will start with the "Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules". This looks a little different from the draft rules on asylum that we made available with the Bill simply because the material in the draft has had to be fitted in with the present format of the rest of the rules. The substance is unchanged. It sets out more fully than at present the criteria that will be applied to determining asylum cases. It lists the factors that, without a reasonable explanation, may be damaging to an applicant's credibility, which concerned the hon. Member for Nottingham, North, and may thus lead to refusal. It must be right to let applicants know where they stand and what is expected of them. Our expectations are not excessive. We are simply looking for good faith and co-operation in the investigation of their claims.
We have also added to the earlier draft—the hon. Member for Nottingham, North was thinking of paragraph 180G, not 100G—amendments to reflect the abolition of certain general immigration rights of appeal under sections 10 and 11 of the Act, which we discussed and debated at length in Committee.
The elements of the statement of changes in the rules that do not flow directly from the Act are straightforward, and I hope that the House will agree that they are uncontroversial. The hon. Member for Nottingham, 307 North mentioned at least one of them. As we have previously announced, we have amended the rules on au pairs so that young men may now qualify in that category.
§ Mr. Grant
I thank the Minister for his generosity in giving way. I note that the rules for admission to the United Kingdom make an exception in the visa requirements for people from Croatia and Slovenia. Why is that exemption granted, when people from other parts of former Yugoslavia must have visas?
§ Mr. Wardle
That has nothing to do with the instruments. As the hon. Gentleman knows, however, that was made perfectly clear when the new visa regime for other parts of former Yugoslavia was introduced at the end of November.
In anticipation of completion of the channel tunnel, we have included a number of references—
§ Mr. Wardle
I have given the answer.
We have added the word "train" to the rules at suitable points. We have clarified the language in the rules relating to entry clearance and transit passengers, and as they have become independent countries we have added Eritrea and Macedonia to the list of visa nationalities. Ethiopia was already on the list.
I should like to take this opportunity to say that we have it in mind to introduce a further change to the immigration rules in the near future. The main purpose of this further exercise is to consolidate the rules and to improve the format and presentation for the benefit of applicants and practitioners. Their practical application has also been reviewed and the opportunity will be taken to make a number of substantive changes. These include provisions regulating the circumstances in which married students may be accompanied by their spouses and amending the rules on working holidaymakers, who will in future be required to obtain entry clearance before coming to the United Kingdom.
I propose to lay a consolidated statement of the immigration rules before the House before the end of 1993, to come into effect early in 1994. I am placing in the Libraries of both Houses a consultative document covering the working draft of the proposed consolidation. Copies will be made available in the Vote Office imminently. In addition, my officials will be sending the document to a number of interested parties seeking their comments. Further copies are also available from Lunar house, and we will invite comments by the end of September.
§ Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody (Crewe and Nantwich)
On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Is it in order for the Minister to make a major announcement in a debate on instruments that are narrowly drawn and do not encompass the substantive changes to which he has just referred?
§ Mr. Wardle
As I have explained, I thought that it would be for the convenience of the House to announce that a consultation exercise was about to be embarked on. I said that the document would be available in the Vote Office and in the Library, and I made it plain that we would approach a number of interested parties to seek their views by the end of September. I thought that it would be for the convenience of the House if I took this early opportunity to announce the timetable—
§ Mr. Madden
On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The Minister has said that he intends to place documents in the Vote Office. Surely they should have been given us for this debate, to enable Members to consider them and question the Minister about them? With the recess looming there would seem to be no further opportunities to do that.
§ Madam Deputy Speaker
I understood the Minister to be giving the House notice. Hon. Members get annoyed when things are sprung on them, so they cannot complain when they are given notice.
§ Mr. Wardle
I am grateful for that ruling. I hope that Opposition Members who served on the Committee with me will recognise that I sought to be assiduous about providing copies of letters and of other information. I regard it as only courteous to the House to let it know about a future exercise, not related to these instruments. There will be ample opportunity to debate the consultation exercise—
§ Mr. Vaz
On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. You have told the House that the Minister has given us notice that a document is to be placed in the Vote Office and the Library. He has told the House that the document has already been prepared. Could the Minister tell us, through you, why it is not possible to place the document in the Vote Office tomorrow?
§ Mr. Wardle
It is perhaps a monument to the hon. Gentleman's sense of self-importance that he has used up so much of the time for this debate on a point that ensued from my attempts to be courteous to the House.
I can now answer the hon. Gentleman's question. By turning my head in a certain direction I have been able to ascertain, as if by magic, that "imminently" means tomorrow. It was only my innate caution that led me to say "imminently" in the first place—I did not want to let the hon. Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Vaz) down. In any case, I can confirm that I mean tomorrow.
309 The Asylum Appeals (Procedure) Rules 1993, laid by my noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor, are even more straightforward than the new immigration rules. They were made available in draft for consultation in substantially their present form, and the changes made in the final version are slight. The rules establish a separate procedural regime for asylum appeals channelled to the designated special adjudicators, and from special adjudicators to the appeals tribunal. They set time limits for the different stages of that procedure.
A change to he noted in the present version is the inclusion in rule 5(2) of clarification that the two working day limit for lodging appeals will apply only when three criteria are met—that a port case is involved; that the application has been certified as without foundation; and that the applicant has been served personally with the refusal notice. I can repeat tonight that, in practice, we will operate this procedure only when applicants are detained.
A second change is that the time limits for certain preliminary stages in the accelerated handling of cases certified as being without foundation have been extended in the interests of the practicability of the new system. Rule 6(2) now allows the special adjudicator three days in which to serve notice of the time and place for the hearing. Rule 9(2) provides that, overall, the special adjudicator will determine a "without foundation" case within seven days of receiving notice of an appeal.
The final instrument for discussion this evening is the Immigration (Restricted Right of Appeal against Deportation) (Exemption) Order 1993. This, too, flows directly from the provisions of the new Act. Section 5 of 310 the Immigration Act 1988 restricts the grounds that can be raised on appeal against deportation when an overstayer has been in this country for less than seven years. Hitherto, there has been an exception to ensure that asylum-related issues can also be raised. Now that there is a specific right of appeal against deportation on asylum grounds, that exemption is no longer necessary.
§ Mr. Wardle
I hope that my hon. Friend will not mind if I do not give way now. I am about to end my speech, and no doubt he will have an opportunity later to catch the eye of the Chair.
A new exemption is needed to give effect to assurances that I gave during the passage of the 1988 legislation. I made it clear that when an existing leave is curtailed under section 7—I know that this will interest the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. Fraser)—there will be an opportunity to raise all aspects of the case in an appeal against the notice of intention to deport. The order ensures that that is not restricted by section 5 of the 1988 Act.
As I have said, the instruments are an essential part of the practical changes that the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act seeks to achieve. They are entirely consistent with the clear picture of our intentions that we gave during the passage of the Act. Our task now is to make the system work effectively; these instruments are essential practical tools to enable us to do just that, and I commend them to the House.
§ Ms Diane Abbott (Hackney, North and Stoke Newington)
To hear Conservative Members talk about immigration and asylum matters is to hear them at their most unpleasant and unsavoury. I only wish that members of the minority groups whose votes Conservative Members are so keen to solicit at election time, and whose big cash donations they are so keen to solicit at any time, could hear them at this time of night, jeering at the very notion that immigrants might have rights.
What has been entirely lacking—both in the debate on the original legislation and, so far, in tonight's debate—is any notion that immigrants or asylum seekers are people: people who, historically, have contributed to the country. Anyone listening to the jeers and sneers of Conservative Members would not think that some of our most distinguished public figures were once refugees and asylum seekers. Nor has it yet been pointed out that refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers are entitled to due process. One of the most grotesque features of the instruments that we are debating is the notion that the answer to an administrative backlog of asylum seekers and refugees is to curtail their rights. The humane and proper answer would have been to provide the staff necessary to speed the process.
According to Conservative Members and the media, the focus of the changes to our immigration and asylum rules is the need to avoid the problems experienced in Germany. Let me remind Conservative Members that the serious problems in Germany are not the responsibility of the refugees there. They have been caused by the failure to take legal action against illegal Nazi violence, by the failure of leading politicians to condemn fascist and Nazi violence and by the phenomenon of the resurgence of Nazism and fascism.
If Conservative Members spent less time sneering at the notion that immigrants and refugees are entitled to a due process of rights and more time condemning Nazism and fascism wherever they rear their heads, they would do themselves a little more credit, and would seem a little less hypocritical to those of us who know the reality of their behaviour in the Chamber and the hypocrisy of the appeals they make to members of minority communities at election time.
§ Mr. Fabricant
I am grateful to the hon. Lady for giving way to me, as I was the one who mentioned the instability in Germany. I hope that she is not trying to say that any Conservative Member would condone Nazi activities in Germany or anywhere else. Will she accept, as a matter of common sense, that huge inflows of immigration and refugees, some of whom may be bogus, cause instability? Does she not think that, if the Minister is creating a system under which immigration can be controlled to allow in those who have a just cause, it will mean that immigrants coming into the United Kingdom can be looked after, and instability will not arise, as it has in Germany and elsewhere?
§ Ms Abbott
It is precisely that kind of rhetoric that Labour Members find so alarming. The hon. Gentleman talked of inflows as though he was talking about so much inanimate debris. We are talking about people. The problem in Germany is caused first and foremost by illegal fascist violence. Immigrant and refugee communities both 312 in this country and in Europe as a whole want from people in positions of authority a clear condemnation of fascist violence.
While we are about it, why do not some Tory Members condemn the speeches made recently by the hon. Member of Davyhulme (Mr. Churchill)?
§ Madam Deputy Speaker
Order. The House will know my view about repeated seated interventions. Let us return to the subject in hand.
§ Ms Abbott
I have tried to tell the House what Labour Members and the public at large find so alarming about the spirit in which the rules and instruments have been drafted. Part of the spirit can be found in what the hon. Member for Davyhulme has said. I am loth to mention his recent speeches, because I believe that his primary motivation was to get cheap publicity at the expense of exciting fears and playing on people's passions. That sort of cheap politics goes back to Smethwick and beyond.
The misapprehension at the heart of what the hon. Gentleman said is shown by his insistence on talking about immigrants. The people he was referring to, in the big cities of the north and the midlands—whether in Manchester, Oldham or Huddersfield—are not immigrants. Many of them are second and third-generation British people. It does no good for publicity seekers and political failures such as that hon. Gentleman to try to resuscitate their careers by replaying the old Powellite record.
§ Mr. Vaz
Does my hon. Friend share my astonishment at the fact that, after the hon. Member for Davyhulme (Mr. Churchill) made his speech, the Under-Secretary of State responsible for immigration matters and the Minister with responsibility for community relations did not issue statements condemning it? They are both in possession of facts disproving the rhetoric of the hon. Member for Davyhulme, but neither of them presented those facts.
§ Mr. Fabricant
On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The hon. Member for Hackney, North and Stoke Newington (Ms Abbott) spoke about statements by my hon. Friend the Member for Davyhulme (Mr. Churchill). As she has said, those statements were about people living in this country who are not refugees. Therefore, that has nothing to do with the subject of the debate, which is on the issue of the statutory instruments on refugees.
§ Ms Abbott
It is relevant to the matter in hand, because I was trying to outline for Conservative Members the type of climate, thinking and hysteria that could generate rules and instruments that are contrary to any notion of due process. It has alarmed many people that the Home Secretary has been unwilling to condemn remarks made by one of his hon. Friends.
It is gross hyprocrisy for the Government party to try to present itself to minority groups, especially wealthy members of those groups, as a party that is on their side 313 when, with the other hand, they seek to play to the basest, racist feeling in the electorate. We shall keep exposing that hyprocrisy all the way to the next general election.
Not just Opposition Members but members of the judiciary and members in the other place believe that these rules and instruments run counter to any notion of fairness and due process. They will cause difficulties, separation, and unhappiness to tens of thousands of my constituents and the constituents of my hon. Friends.
The genesis of these rules and instruments dates back to before the general election when the Conservative party was anxious to play the race card. The press campaign that accompanied the issue of asylum and refugee seekers and the statements and rhetoric of Conservative Members in the debate can only confirm the worst fears of my constituents, whether they are refugee immigrants, the stock of such immigrants or people who are simply concerned about civil liberties and people's rights.
In recent times, the record of this country and that of Conservative Members in exploiting people's fears on the issue is nothing to be proud of. Above all, the Minister has nothing to be proud of in presenting the rules and instruments. On behalf of my constituents and anybody in this country who is the descendant of a refugee immigrant or asylum seeker, I will be glad to vote against them.
§ 11.8 pm
§ Mr. John Greenway (Ryedale)
I shall be brief, because Opposition Members want to speak in the debate. The hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen) made the kind of speech that we all dread in an Adjournment debate, because he seemed to ramble without much passion. He said that the issue of asylum seeking was a problem invented by the Government for political gain.
§ Mr. Greenway
The hon. Gentleman shakes his head, but I am sure that Hansard will prove that I have quoted him correctly.
I hope that I will not embarrass you, Madam Deputy Speaker, by recalling a visit that you and I made to Gatwick airport as members of the Home Afairs Select Committee in the last Parliament during an inquiry into the policing of EC borders. Without any prearranging—and I do not think that any hon. Member would suggest that it could have been prearranged—while we were there around 45 people from the Lebanon arrived on an aeroplane and promptly squatted in the reception lounge at Gatwick airport and claimed political asylum.
§ Mr. Greenway
The hon. Member for Hackney, North and Stoke Newington (Ms Abbott) should listen, because I am about to say something that I hope she will find encouraging.
On further inquiry, we found that that group of about 45 men, women and children had come from the Lebanon via Turkey and Paris to London. They had onward tickets to Portugal and then Cyprus. They had been allowed to fly into Gatwick airport because of their onward tickets. They had also destroyed all their other papers.
None of us had any doubt whatsoever that it was part of a racket. They all claimed political asylum; they were 314 nothing short of economic migrants. They had family and friends in Britain and were seeking to exploit the immigration rules.
It was equally clear to us all that many people in Britain —some of them live in the constituency of the hon. Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Vaz) and he and I discussed the matter when he, too, was on the Home Affairs Committee—who have accepted the immigration rules, greatly resent the fact that bogus asylum seekers seek a way around the rules for their own gain.
It therefore behoves the House to have nothing to do with the prayers tabled by the hon. Member for Nottingham, North on behalf of the Labour party, but to give our full approval to the measures before the House, which merely give effect to the proposals in the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993, which already has Royal Assent, most of which were debated in the House and the other place on two occasions.
I cannot say to my hon. Friend the Minister that I enjoyed his company on the last Bill. I was spared that, as I had spent all my time on the Bill which was aborted because of the election last year. However, the issues are the same now, and they are the issues on which the Government are right.
The hon. Member for Hackney, North and Stoke Newington complained that no Conservative Members seemed to care much about the rights of people who come to Britain fleeing from persecution, or even economic migrants who arrive here and are given leave to remain. She is deeply wrong.
As the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Mrs. Roche) knows, the Select Committee on Home Affairs' sub-committee spent some time earlier this year looking at the delays in the immigration nationality department. We published a report three or four months ago which my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary warmly welcomed, albeit that it chided his Department in one or two respects. We took issue with him and the Government over the cases of those who had applied for political asylum in Britain and who, under the archaic rules that these measures seek to deal with, spent three or four years in Britain waiting for their cases to be decided, had been given exceptional leave to remain on humanitarian grounds then had to wait up to four years to be reunited with their families and loved ones who were refugees in other countries. We suggested that four years was too long.
I want to take the opportunity to tell my hon. Friend the Minister that those of us who have looked at these matters feel that the Government, having given those people exceptional leave to remain, should bear in mind the fact that there are many cases where there are grounds for such families to be reunited. There are mothers with very young children living in abject squalor in refugee camps and we owe it to them, having given the father leave to remain, to allow them to be reunited as quickly as possible.
§ Mrs. Barbara Roche (Hornsey and Wood Green)
I welcome the hon. Gentleman's remarks about the need for family reunion, but does he agree that it was a mistake for the Government to introduce the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993 because it muddled immigration and asylum, giving rise to the racist overtones and speeches about which we have heard recently?
§ Mr. Greenway
I do not think that there is much muddle in the minds of Conservative Members. There may be a muddle in the minds of some Opposition Members. As my hon. Friend the Minister admitted, 41,000 cases remain to be settled. That is 9,000 fewer than when the Select Committee published its report, but it is, none the less, as my hon. Friend will be the first to accept, an unacceptable number.
I warmly welcome my hon. Friend's comment, which goes to the heart of one of the recommendations in the Select Committee's report, that, when the measures come into force on Monday next week, the impetus to deal with the backlog of 41,000 existing cases will remain and they will be dealt with as quickly as possible.
The House, if it is honest, knows that the European Community faces a potential flood of economic migrants from Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and north Africa. It would go beyond the parameters of this debate to talk about the measures that the European Community might have to take, but they may be discussed in two days' time when we again consider the Maastricht treaty. It is clear that the measures taken by the Government are necessary and timely and, as time will demonstrate, other European countries will copy them.
§ Mr. Robert Maclennan (Caithness and Sunderland)
This is a short debate and many of the arguments about asylum to which it gives rise have already been extensively canvassed in the debate on the parent Bill, so I shall not go into great detail. There are few surprises in the measures. Most remarkable has been the Minister's statement that he intends imminently to announce a consolidated measure that the House will have an opportunity to see tomorrow.
That is an important announcement. The Minister said that he proposes to consult interested parties on that measure. Many parties and bodies are interested in the welfare of immigrants, and specifically in refugees and asylum seekers. The views of those established bodies must be heard, but I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not content himself with simply consulting them. Because those bodies and others have expressed many concerns and criticisms, there is a case for the Government doing as they do in another area where there are fears of the denial of human rights and fundamental freedoms. I speak of the nexus of laws concerned with the prevention of terrorism.
The Government should consider appointing a senior judge to review the operation of the measures to satisfy both him and the House, when we come to consider the revised and consolidated statement of immigration rules, that justice is not being denied, that due process is being afforded to those seeking refuge in these islands and who, under the terms of the United Nations convention, to which we are a contracting party, are entitled to come here. The view of a judge on those matters would be of immense objective value. Now is the time, when the rules are fresh, to make such an appointment. It is open to us to put aside any partial considerations that may have brought to our deliberations on the draft measures.
The Minister, in consolidating these measures, should examine three particular matters not covered by the existing rules, to which the attention of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has been drawn. First, the husbands of students have no claim to be with the students while they are studying. That provision is sexually 316 discriminatory and should be discarded. Secondly, the children of lone parents should be allowed to join their parents in the United Kingdom, if there is adequate support for them. Thirdly, where children have the right of abode, their parents should normally be permitted to stay with them. Those aspects could be covered in the consolidated rules.
As to the asylum and immigration matters covered by the amended immigration rules and by the three statutory instruments that are before the House, I was surprised to hear the Minister say that the justification for rule 180G, to which the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen) referred, is that it is necessary to let applicants know where they stand and what is expected of them.
If the rules are at all justifiable—the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees made it plain that they are not—it is only because of the assistance that they might offer immigration officers or those who review an applicant's claim to asylum. In reality, most of those who claim asylum are under great pressure because of the time limits that the orders impose. It is highly unlikely that many applicants have the remotest idea of what are the requirements of our complex domestic law.
My main criticism of the rules in their totality is that the pressure of time in considering cases does not make it possible to be satisfied that due process will be observed. I hope that the Minister will examine that aspect with particular care when the 1971 Act is reviewed. There is no need to. shuffle people through our processes with the speed for which the measures provide—particularly in respect of those whom the Home Secretary determines have groundless cases. The 40-hour limit in respect of such cases will plainly make it impossible for such applicants to know where they stand and what is expected of them, to use the Minister's words.
My right hon. and hon. Friends and I resisted many of the proposals during their passage through the House. We fully acknowledge and accept the need for proper asylum control, to ensure that people do not enter this country on false pretences, and agree that that requires a new appeals system. We welcome the decision slightly to extend rights and to provide for the right of appeal to the Court of Appeal in at least one case—but we cannot welcome procedures that, viewed in the round, could result in kangaroo courts.
I hope that before the House debates those matters again, we will have the advice of a judge on the working of the rules, to enable all right hon. and hon. Members independently to arrive at a view on whether the rules match the highest standards of British justice.
§ Mr. Allen
With the leave of the House, Madam Deputy Speaker. This debate will be remembered, above all, for the fact that not a single Conservative speaker took the opportunity to condemn the remarks, repeated yesterday, of the hon. Member for Davyhulme (Mr. Churchill). In the short time left to the Minister, I hope that he will take the chance to condemn those remarks and to dissociate the Conservative party from the remarks of his honourable colleague. That was a chance missed by the Home Secretary and deliberately avoided by the Prime Minister. The Minister now has the chance to put that right.
If the Government had seriously wanted to improve the system of asylum applications, they could have proposed 317 a range of measures—from adequate staffing for processing applications promptly to easier access to legal advice, better translation and interpretation facilities, independent monitoring of the activities of immigration officers, statutory recording of immigration interviews, and so on. But improvements and greater justice were never the Government's motivation.
Now the Minister tells the House, almost with glee, that the Government have commenced the process of fingerprinting people who seek political asylum in this country. Having thought that they had found a safe haven, they are now welcomed to our shores by having their fingerprints taken, like common criminals. The Government have no ideas on how to handle the serious crisis that is blowing up in eastern Europe and the mass migration that is taking place. Perhaps they have no intention of helping eastern Europe.
The answer, clearly, is not to offer everyone a haven in the United Kingdom. To build ever higher fences to keep out people who are fleeing from persecution is not the answer, either. We must try to solve the problems where they occur, but, since the liberation of eastern Europe in 1989, the scale of assistance and the quality of advice exported by the Government have been as pathetic as the foreign policy paralysis of the European Community. In 1945, the European refugee crisis led to the United Nations convention on refugees. In 1993, it has led to the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act and these petty rules.
There is an unprecedented refugee crisis on the horizon. Europe is awash with displaced persons. All the Government have to offer is a little England mentality. If our foreign and domestic policies fail to match the task ahead, not only shall we reap the whirlwind of European migration and ethnic conflict but we shall deserve to do so.
§ Mr. Charles Wardle
With the leave of the House, Madam Deputy Speaker. As the House knows, the Government are committed to fighting racial discrimination, wherever that is apparent. They value the contribution made to this country's cultural and social life by members of ethnic minority communities. The Government believe that by maintaining firm control over immigration, we shall maintain the basis for good race relations. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with an open discussion by anyone of our immigration policies, but there are two essential ingredients for a measured debate on the subject.
First, we need to be factually accurate about the ethnic make-up of the British population when we debate the subject. Secondly, we should remember that primary immigration slowed to a virtual halt years ago. Of course, employers must have the right to recruit overseas staff with high-level skills when no such skills are available in the United Kingdom. The Government have always recognised a commitment to spouses and to genuine direct dependants of British citizens and also to those settled here and those accepted as refugees.
For the past eight months, in the House and in Committee, Opposition Members have expressed unsubstantiated fears about the rights of people who claim asylum in this country and about the manner in which those claimants are received and treated. Only very infrequently during those months of debate have 318 Opposition Members acknowledged the acceleration of our asylum procedures since the late 1980s because of the large number of people arriving in the United Kingdom, whose motivation for coming here often has nothing remotely to do with a well-founded fear of persecution. What no Opposition Member chose to say was that, while there are people with traumatic experiences—genuine refugees—waiting in that long queue, those who make bogus applications do those genuine cases a disservice.
Time after time, Opposition Members chose to present a distorted view of what the new rules offer. There is the right of oral hearing—which the hon. Member for Hackney, North and Stoke Newington (Ms Abbott) seemed to ignore—for everyone refused asylum.
Opposition Members have only grudgingly allowed that our visit or visa procedures have delivered outright approval to over 92 per cent. of applicants. We welcome millions of non-EC nationals to this country each year as short-term visitors in one category or another.
§ It being half-past Eleven o'clock, MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 14 (Exempted business).
§ The House divided: Ayes 194, Noes 249.321
|Division No. 355]||[11.30 pm|
|Abbott, Ms Diane||Cox, Tom|
|Adams, Mrs Irene||Cryer, Bob|
|Ainger, Nick||Cummings, John|
|Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)||Cunliffe, Lawrence|
|Allen, Graham||Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)|
|Alton, David||Darling, Alistair|
|Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)||Davidson, Ian|
|Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale)||Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)|
|Armstrong, Hilary||Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'l)|
|Ashton, Joe||Dixon, Don|
|Austin-Walker, John||Dobson, Frank|
|Banks, Tony (Newham NW)||Donohoe, Brian H.|
|Barnes, Harry||Dowd, Jim|
|Battle, John||Dunnachie, Jimmy|
|Bayley, Hugh||Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth|
|Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret||Eagle, Ms Angela|
|Bennett, Andrew F.||Eastham, Ken|
|Benton, Joe||Enright, Derek|
|Betts, Clive||Etherington, Bill|
|Blair, Tony||Evans, John (St Helens N)|
|Blunkett, David||Ewing, Mrs Margaret|
|Boateng, Paul||Fatchett, Derek|
|Boyce, Jimmy||Foster, Rt Hon Derek|
|Boyes, Roland||Fraser, John|
|Bradley, Keith||Fyfe, Maria|
|Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E)||Galloway, George|
|Brown, N. (N'c'tle upon Tyne E)||Gapes, Mike|
|Burden, Richard||George, Bruce|
|Caborn, Richard||Gerrard, Neil|
|Callaghan, Jim||Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John|
|Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)||Godman, Dr Norman A.|
|Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)||Golding, Mrs Llin|
|Campbell-Savours, D. N.||Gordon, Mildred|
|Canavan, Dennis||Graham, Thomas|
|Cann, Jamie||Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)|
|Chisholm, Malcolm||Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)|
|Clapham, Michael||Gunnell, John|
|Clark, Dr David (South Shields)||Hall, Mike|
|Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)||Hanson, David|
|Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)||Hardy, Peter|
|Clelland, David||Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy|
|Clwyd, Mrs Ann||Heppell, John|
|Coffey, Ann||Hill, Keith (Streatham)|
|Cohen, Harry||Hoey, Kate|
|Connarty, Michael||Hood, Jimmy|
|Cook, Frank (Stockton N)||Hoon, Geoffrey|
|Corbyn, Jeremy||Howarth, George (Knowsley N)|
|Corston, Ms Jean||Hoyle, Doug|
|Cousins, Jim||Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)||Patchett, Terry|
|Hughes, Simon (Southwark)||Pickthall, Colin|
|Hutton, John||Pike, Peter L.|
|Illsley, Eric||Pope, Greg|
|Ingram, Adam||Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E)|
|Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)||Prescott, John|
|Jamieson, David||Primarolo, Dawn|
|Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side)||Purchase, Ken|
|Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)||Quin, Ms Joyce|
|Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)||Raynsford, Nick|
|Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)||Reid, Dr John|
|Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn)||Rendel, David|
|Kilfoyle, Peter||Robertson, George (Hamilton)|
|Leighton, Ron||Roche, Mrs. Barbara|
|Lestor, Joan (Eccles)||Rooney, Terry|
|Lewis, Terry||Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)|
|Livingstone, Ken||Ruddock, Joan|
|Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)||Salmond, Alex|
|Llwyd, Elfyn||Sheerman, Barry|
|Loyden, Eddie||Short, Clare|
|Lynne, Ms Liz||Skinner, Dennis|
|McAllion, John||Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)|
|McAvoy, Thomas||Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)|
|Macdonald, Calum||Soley, Clive|
|McFall, John||Spearing, Nigel|
|McKelvey, William||Spellar, John|
|Maclennan, Robert||Steel, Rt Hon Sir David|
|McMaster, Gordon||Steinberg, Gerry|
|McNamara, Kevin||Stevenson, George|
|McWilliam, John||Strang, Dr. Gavin|
|Madden, Max||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)|
|Mahon, Alice||Taylor, Matthew (Truro)|
|Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S)||Tipping, Paddy|
|Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)||Vaz, Keith|
|Meale, Alan||Walley, Joan|
|Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)||Wardell, Gareth (Gower)|
|Milburn, Alan||Wareing, Robert N|
|Miller, Andrew||Watson, Mike|
|Moonie, Dr Lewis||Welsh, Andrew|
|Morgan, Rhodri||Wicks, Malcolm|
|Morley, Elliot||Wilson, Brian|
|Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley)||Winnick, David|
|Mudie, George||Wise, Audrey|
|Mullin, Chris||Worthington, Tony|
|Murphy, Paul||Wray, Jimmy|
|Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon||Young, David (Bolton SE)|
|O'Brien, Michael (N W'kshire)|
|O'Brien, William (Normanton)||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|O'Hara, Edward||Mr. Jack Thompson and Mr. Dennis Turner.|
|Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)||Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Bowden, Andrew|
|Alexander, Richard||Bowis, John|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby)||Brandreth, Gyles|
|Allason, Rupert (Torbay)||Brazier, Julian|
|Amess, David||Bright, Graham|
|Arbuthnot, James||Brooke, Rt Hon Peter|
|Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)||Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)|
|Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv)||Browning, Mrs. Angela|
|Ashby, David||Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)|
|Aspinwall, Jack||Burns, Simon|
|Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E)||Burt, Alistair|
|Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)||Carlisle, John (Luton North)|
|Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)||Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)|
|Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North)||Carrington, Matthew|
|Baldry, Tony||Cash, William|
|Banks, Matthew (Southport)||Chapman, Sydney|
|Banks, Robert (Harrogate)||Churchill, Mr|
|Bates, Michael||Clappison, James|
|Batiste, Spencer||Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)|
|Beggs, Roy||Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey|
|Bellingham, Henry||Coe, Sebastian|
|Beresford, Sir Paul||Colvin, Michael|
|Biffen, Rt Hon John||Congdon, David|
|Blackburn, Dr John G.||Conway, Derek|
|Bonsor, Sir Nicholas||Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)|
|Booth, Hartley||Coombs, Simon (Swindon)|
|Boswell, Tim||Cope, Rt Hon Sir John|
|Couchman, James||Kynoch, George (Kincardine)|
|Davies, Quentin (Stamford)||Lait, Mrs Jacqui|
|Davis, David (Boothferry)||Lang, Rt Hon Ian|
|Day, Stephen||Lawrence, Sir Ivan|
|Devlin, Tim||Legg, Barry|
|Dorrell, Stephen||Leigh, Edward|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)|
|Dover, Den||Lidington, David|
|Duncan, Alan||Lightbown, David|
|Duncan-Smith, Iain||Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)|
|Durant, Sir Anthony||Lord, Michael|
|Dykes, Hugh||MacKay, Andrew|
|Eggar, Tim||Maclean, David|
|Elletson, Harold||Maitland, Lady Olga|
|Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter||Malone, Gerald|
|Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)||Mans, Keith|
|Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)||Marlow, Tony|
|Evans, Roger (Monmouth)||Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)|
|Evennett, David||Martin, David (Portsmouth S)|
|Faber, David||Mellor, Rt Hon David|
|Fabricant, Michael||Merchant, Piers|
|Fenner, Dame Peggy||Milligan, Stephen|
|Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)||Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)|
|Fishburn, Dudley||Mitchell, Sir David (Hants NW)|
|Forman, Nigel||Moate, Sir Roger|
|Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)||Monro, Sir Hector|
|Forth, Eric||Montgomery, Sir Fergus|
|Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman||Moss, Malcolm|
|Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)||Nelson, Anthony|
|Freeman, Rt Hon Roger||Neubert, Sir Michael|
|French, Douglas||Nicholls, Patrick|
|Gale, Roger||Nicholson, David (Taunton)|
|Gallie, Phil||Norris, Steve|
|Gardiner, Sir George||Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley|
|Garnier, Edward||Page, Richard|
|Gill, Christopher||Paice, James|
|Gillan, Cheryl||Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey|
|Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair||Pawsey, James|
|Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles||Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth|
|Gorst, John||Pickles, Eric|
|Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)||Porter, David (Waveney)|
|Greenway, John (Ryedale)||Powell, William (Corby)|
|Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)||Rathbone, Tim|
|Grylls, Sir Michael||Redwood, Rt Hon John|
|Hague, William||Renton, Rt Hon Tim|
|Hamilton, Rt Hon Archie (Epsom)||Richards, Rod|
|Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)||Riddick, Graham|
|Hampson, Dr Keith||Robathan, Andrew|
|Hanley, Jeremy||Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn|
|Hannam, Sir John||Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)|
|Harris, David||Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)|
|Haselhurst, Alan||Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)|
|Hawkins, Nick||Ryder, Rt Hon Richard|
|Hawksley, Warren||Sackville, Tom|
|Heald, Oliver||Shaw, David (Dover)|
|Heathcoat-Amory, David||Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)|
|Hendry, Charles||Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian|
|Hicks, Robert||Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)|
|Hill, James (Southampton Test)||Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)|
|Horam, John||Sims, Roger|
|Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter||Skeet, Sir Trevor|
|Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)||Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)|
|Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk)||Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)|
|Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)||Soames, Nicholas|
|Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)||Spencer, Sir Derek|
|Hunter, Andrew||Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)|
|Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas||Spink, Dr Robert|
|Jack, Michael||Spring, Richard|
|Jenkin, Bernard||Sproat, Iain|
|Jessel, Toby||Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)|
|Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)||Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John|
|Jopling, Rt Hon Michael||Steen, Anthony|
|Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine||Stephen, Michael|
|Kilfedder, Sir James||Stern, Michael|
|King, Rt Hon Tom||Streeter, Gary|
|Kirkhope, Timothy||Sweeney, Walter|
|Knapman, Roger||Sykes, John|
|Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)||Tapsell, Sir Peter|
|Knight, Greg (Derby N)||Taylor, Ian (Esher)|
|Knox, Sir David||Taylor, John M. (Solihull)|
|Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)||Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)|
|Temple-Morris, Peter||Waterson, Nigel|
|Thomason, Roy||Watts, John|
|Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)||Wells, Bowen|
|Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)||Whittingdale, John|
|Thornton, Sir Malcolm||Widdecombe, Ann|
|Thurnham, Peter||Wiggin, Sir Jerry|
|Townend, John (Bridlington)||Wilkinson, John|
|Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)||Willetts, David|
|Tredinnick, David||Wilshire, David|
|Trend, Michael||Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)|
|Trotter, Neville||Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)|
|Twinn, Dr Ian||Wolfson, Mark|
|Vaughan, Sir Gerard||Young, Rt Hon Sir George|
|Waldegrave, Rt Hon William||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Walden, George||Mr. Irvine Patnick and Mr. Timothy Wood.|
§ Question accordingly negatived.