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Immigration Bill set for two serious rows

25 January 2014

The row over the past few weeks over the Immigration Bill has been rather ironic given it was introduced in part to calm Tory backbench nerves. Those nerves were over two issues: Bulgarian and Romanian migrants, and deportation, and while the Mills amendment which addresses the former remains on the order paper, albeit with some rival amendments aimed at siphoning off support, there is another big revolt on the way on the latter. Dominic Raab has tabled another amendment which has the support of more than 100 MPs on deportation. It is essentially a repeat of the amendment he tabled to the Crime and Courts Bill, and means that foreign criminals can only avoid deportation if they risk being killed or tortured on their return.

Raab fears that the government’s clause on deportation in the Immigration Bill would be ignored by UK courts. His last attempt failed only because the government was rushing through its legislative response to Leveson on the same day, but ministers and their aides had been increasingly panicking, and PPSs had demanded to be able to support the amendment too.

The Mail and Telegraph have covered this amendment this morning. It is a much more serious matter than the Mills amendment for a number of reasons. The first is that I understand that the list of supporters of the amendment remains roughly the same (the names have not yet been published but the Crime and Courts Bill amendment included David Blunkett (who tabled the amendment with Raab), Frank Field, former policing minister Nick Herbert, former justice minister Crispin Blunt, the DUP’s Nigel Dodds, David Davis, Andrew Mitchell, 1922 committee chairman Graham Brady and Liam Fox). This is therefore a cross-party backbench rebellion, but it could also, if Labour is persuaded to abstain, which it could well do, become an amendment that is successfully tacked onto the legislation.

Raab says:

‘This amendment will cut the spurious human rights challenges lodged by convicted killers, rapists and drug dealers to evade deportation, and restore some common sense to our border controls. Having talked about reform for the last three years, it’s time we delivered – that’s what this amendment will do.’

That last sentence is key to why this amendment is so important: part of the nervousness in the Tory party at the moment is as much about politicians sticking to their promises on immigration issues as it is on anything else.
The full text of the amendment is below:

Dominic Raab

Exceptions to Automatic Deportation

To move the following clause:–

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‘(1) The UK Borders Act 2007 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 33 (Exceptions), in subsection (2)(a), for “Convention rights”, substitute “rights under Articles 2 or 3 of the Convention”.

(3) In section 33, after subsection (6A), insert–

“(6B) Exception 7 is where the Secretary of State thinks, taking into account all the circumstances of the case including the seriousness of the offence, that removal of the foreign criminal from the United Kingdom in pursuance of a deportation order would cause such manifest and overwhelming harm to his children that it overrides the public interest in removal.”.

(4) In section 38 (Interpretation)–

(a) after subsection (3) insert–

“(3A) In section 32, “Convention rights” has the same meaning as in the Human Rights Act 1998 (c 42).”;

(b) omit paragraph (4)(b);

(c) after subsection (4) insert–

“(4A) In section 33, “rights under Articles 2 or 3 of the Convention” means Articles 2 or 3 of “the Convention” as defined in the Human Rights Act 1998 (c 42).”.’.


Clause 14, page 13, leave out lines 14 to 39 and insert–

‘“117C Cases involving Foreign Criminals

(1)  No decision of the Secretary of State under section 33(6B) (Exceptions) of the UK Borders Act 2007 may be questioned except on appeal to the High Court.

(2)  For the purposes of determining whether to give permission to appeal and determining any such appeal under subsection (1) the High Court must apply the procedures and principles which would be applied by it on an application for judicial review.“.’.

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Show comments

    Section 33 6B already exists in the borders act 2007 and so does section 7. Should it be section 6I and section 8? or does Raab mean these new sections replace the existing one?

  • Fergus Pickering

    A picture of one of these grinning bearded weirdoes is quite enough to spoil my breakfast.

  • dolusbonus

    The Muslims are not happy!

    They’re not happy in Gaza…They’re not happy in Egypt…They’re not happy in Libya…They’re not happy in Morocco…They’re not happy in Iran… They’re not happy in Iraq…They’re not happy in Yemen…They’re not happy in Afghanistan…They’re not happy in Pakistan…They’re not happy in Syria…They’re not happy in Lebanon…

    So, where are they happy?

    They’re happy in Australia…They’re happy in Canada…They’re happy in England…They’re happy in France…They’re happy in Italy…They’re happy in Germany…They’re happy in Sweden …They’re happy in the USA… They’re happy in Norway… They’re happy in Holland…They’re happy in Denmark… They’re even happy in Ireland.

    Basically, they’re happy in every country that is not their homeland and unhappy in every country that is!

    And whom do they blame?

    Not their homeland.
    Not their leadership.
    Not themselves.
    They blame the countries in which they are happy!

    And then;

    They want to change those countries to be like…. the countries in which they were unhappy!

  • Doggie Roussel

    Some may find what I am about to say funny, others will realise that the influx of immigrants from Eastern Europe is really no laughing matter.

    Three nights ago, as I queued in a P & O vehicle check-in at Calais, on my return to England from the French Alps, I noticed that the people-carrier in front of me in the check-in had a Bulgarian number plate (BG). When the vehicle remained stationary for about 10 minutes and we were fretting about missing our booking, a figure emerged from the the Bulgarian minibus and we were presented by a pantomime as the driver of the Bulgarian vehicle jumped up and down, waved his arms in an ever-increasing frenzy, lasting all of another 15 minutes. Eventually all the check-in gates were closed and the Bulgarian and his motor were steered away from the check-in area… presumably towards Calais.

    When I lined up alongside the P & O check-in booth, I asked the extremely polite (French) booking agent what all the fuss had been about.

    He told me that the Bulgarian gent thought that, as Bulgarians were now warmly accepted in the UK, his passage on the ferry would, naturally be free of charge and that he and his tribe within the people-carrier would be transported across the English Channel at no cost to themselves.

    It really does beggar belief… but, and I kid you not, I actually saw it all and was assured that it was a frequent occurrence at the Calais ferry terminal.

    So, who are we all going to vote for in any upcoming elections…. it’s actually pretty obvious.

    • perdix

      Tip: don’t vote ukip – you’ll let the bad guys in.

  • Bonkim

    “foreign criminals can only avoid deportation if they risk being killed or tortured on their return.” why should we worry if they are killed or tortured on their return according the laws of their land?

    • IJMO_DS

      We should not. Article 1 of the European convention on human rights says that only the signatory is responsible within their own jurisdiction. The British state agreed not to torture or deny any one within the UK a fair trial. It never agreed to be responsible for the human rights of other countries. It also has the right under the convention to deport aliens. The European judges don’t like article 1 so they ignored it.

      • Bonkim


  • Daniel Maris

    Well you don’t help by not providing a line by line comparison of the unamended and amended bill (not that difficult if Fraser can put up all those graphs! :) ).

    However, Raab’s amendment sounds v. sensible. Should probably be strengthened by a declaration of what Parliament’s interpretation of it’s treaty obligations is (i.e. Parliament should say in law “As the supreme legal authority in the land, this is our interpretation of our treaty obligations regarding Human Rights Treaties that we have ratified.” That would make even the most wet-left-libby judge have second thoughts before he countermands parliament.

    • Michele Keighley

      Good grief! I agree with you Daniel – I must go and have a lie down!,

    • Denis_Cooper

      But the Tory leadership will no longer support putting anything into an Act that reasserts or reaffirms the sovereignty of Parliament.

      They did in 2006, but they shied away from doing it in 2008 and 2011.

      You can see the details on their changed attitude by going to this article by John Redwood a fortnight ago:

      and scrolling down to my comment which starts:

      “It’s worth recalling that 136 MPs voted for this on May 16th 2006 … ”

      Of course in May 2006 Cameron was relatively new as the Tory leader, a position which he had attained partly by passing himself off as a strong “eurosceptic” and a staunch defender of our national sovereignty and democracy, but also the Tories were in opposition then and since they have got into government their attitude has changed.

  • David Kay

    is there an election coming up or something. One would think the Tories are scared of UKIP taking their votes

    still they should even deport the ones who face torture if removed. My human rights trump some muslim who pleads he has a right to stay year because he has kids and a family while he plots to kill me and my family

    • telemachus

      You cannot really sustain the moral repugnance of that view
      Would you really condemn a fellow human being to detain torture and death when you know that any potential threat of that individual if here will be neutralised by the effectiveness of our security forces

      • Two Bob

        So long as they dont live near you eh?

        • telemachus

          I also believe in mission and conversion

          • Patricia

            “… when you know that any potential threat of that individual if here will be neutralised by the effectiveness of our security forces.”

            The security forces can’t be everywhere – eg on the street when Lee Rigby was killed.

            “I also believe in mission and conversion”

            They don’t want to be “saved”.

            • telemachus

              So they said in the crusades
              Point is who wins

              • Patricia

                “So they said in the crusades
                Point is who wins”

                Just deport them – problem solved.

                • telemachus

                  To where do you deport the English people who attacked Lee Rigby?

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  I wouldn’t deport them I would execute them.idiot.

                • telemachus

                  With or without fair trial?

                • David Kay

                  theyve had a fair trial, been convicted, but cant be deported in case they get tortured when they want to kill us. What planet are these human rights activists on

                • telemachus

                  We are talking indiginous english folk

                • Alexsandr

                  no. they are 2nd generation immigrants. indigenous english are people who can trace all their gt grandparents as living in England as a minimum.
                  this is a matter of what the words mean, not a value judgement.
                  we have had grey squriirels in England since about 1900, but no-one says they are indigenous.

                • telemachus

                  So deport Ed Miliband then?

                • Alexsandr

                  Have I missed something? I wasn’t aware he was a convicted criminal. Treasonous maybe, but not convicted.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Heavens no. Labour might find someone less ridiculous.Keep the little squirrel.

                • saffrin

                  Once we’re out of the EU, try stopping us.

                • saffrin

                  No we’re not, we are talking about two first generation immigrants.

                • saffrin

                  The result would be the same. The cost however favours without trail.

                • David Kay


                • telemachus

                  You mean like as in Botany Bay
                  THey are as English as you and I

                • David Kay

                  no there not, they are the off spring of african immigrants. the fact they have a UK passport doesnt make them british let alone English. They had no loyalty to my country. Once they die in prison, their bodies should be deported back to africa. I dont want the bodies of foreign scum like them polluting my countries soil

                • telemachus

                  Were the IRA UK citizens?

                • David Kay

                  No they never carried UK passports, always Eire ones. they were/are Johnny foreigner living in the UK, claiming benefits and wanting to kill us

                • saffrin

                  You mean they are as English as you, not I.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Don’t argue with him. He hates the concept of English as an owned ethnicity. Every other nation can have that, even second, third and fourth generation immigrants to Britain can still own the ethnicity of their countries of origin, but not the English. That is to be denied to them and when they attempt to own their own birthright they are abused as ‘little englanders’, ‘racists’ and ‘xenophobes’. They are required to share their ethnicity with anyone who wants it and to sit quietly and shut up when they are described as a ‘mongrel race’.

                • crosscop

                  If that is true, why did they refer to British soldiers going to “our countries” and killing Muslims?

                • Fergus Pickering

                  They may be as English as you. You may be a black muslim for all I know. But they are not as English as I am.

                • saffrin

                  They weren’t English.

                • Patricia

                  “To where do you deport the English people who attacked Lee Rigby? ”

                  Lee Rigby’s killers had the good fortune to be born in Britain but are they grateful ? No, they want to live within the vile mores of their spiritual homeland. Why don’t they just pack up and go and take their ilk with them if we don’t suit ?

                  And bytheway, I’d be surprised if they considered themselves English.

                • Patricia

                  “So they said in the crusades
                  Point is who wins”

                  We’ve moved on from the Crusades – they haven’t. That’s the whole point.

              • Patricia

                “So they said in the crusades
                Point is who wins”

                We’ve moved on from the Crusades – they haven’t. That’s the whole point.

      • Colonel Mustard

        You bray of moral repugnance but your previous comments here show that you would happily condemn fellow human beings to detention, torture and death simply because their political views do not conform to yours.

        You have been glib about the Gulag in many comments. That is disgusting enough but your glib words reveal that the “caring” you incessantly boast about is paper thin:-

        “At its height the Gulag consisted of many hundreds of camps, with the average camp holding 2,000–10,000 prisoners. Most of these camps were “corrective labour colonies” in which prisoners felled timber, laboured on general construction projects (such as the building of canals and railroads), or worked in mines. Most prisoners laboured under the threat of starvation or execution if they refused. It is estimated that the combination of very long working hours, harsh climatic and other working conditions, inadequate food, and summary executions killed off at least 10 percent of the Gulag’s total prisoner population each year. Western scholarly estimates of the total number of deaths in the Gulag in the period from 1918 to 1956 range from 15 to 30 million.”

        As a fellow human being you simply disgust me. And no amount of your braying, boasting and tedious hubris will ever change that.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Where does your quotation come from, Colonel? Could it be the great Robert Conquest?

      • David Kay

        i’ll meet you half way, if its too dangerous to deport them they should be interned in a prison camp together with their families. Guard towers, a battalion of troops with machine guns, miles of barbed wire, apache helicopters, attack dogs and land mines would be a minimum requirement

        • telemachus

          Sounds like your prescription will easily get past the human rights brigade

          • Wessex Man

            of which you are certain to be a member or associate, I see nothing wrong with David Kay’s comment!

            • telemachus

              As are in fact the majority of reasonable folk

          • David Kay

            well if the human rights lobby dont agree to it, the only alternative is to deport the terrorist so they can be tortured. I prefer the latter, why should i pay one penny to protect them when they want to kill me and my fellow citizens

            • telemachus
              • Roderick

                Now I’ve seen everything: despite all evidence to the contrary, Telemachus claims to be a Christian missionary.

                So why are you not actively campaigning for religious freedom and the right to open Christian churches in Muslim countries? Surely not more evidence that you lack the courage of your alleged convictions, also known as “all mouth and no trousers”?

                • telemachus

                  It is a question of where you are and tolerance

                • Alexsandr

                  Tolerance? What about Surat 4:89

                  ‘They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah . But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper..

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You don’t know the meaning of the word tolerance.

                • Alexsandr

                  so you are saying Teletubby likes the missionary position?

              • Doggie Roussel

                Telemachus… ever thought of trying to sell Bibles on the streets of Mecca ?

      • Fergus Pickering

        Yes I would. Bring it on.

      • scampy1

        He is talking about sub human vermin who want to blow us up while on our welfare.

  • Smithersjones2013

    What is so frightening about this government is that it requires ‘rebel’ backbenchers to do the right thing.

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