After those crisis talks in Downing Street that I reported yesterday, I hear that the government plans to bring the Immigration bill back to the Commons with amendments. Number 10 is insisting that nothing has yet been confirmed but suggestions that it could return on Tuesday may be incorrect.
Doubtless those government amendments are designed to calm backbenchers down sufficiently for them to withdraw their amendment. But I’ve just spoken to Nigel Mills, who tabled the amendment, and he is going to press it. He says:
The government amendments are not unhelpful but don’t tackle the already existing issues of immigration from the EU being too high and leaving us a long way from the tens of thousands promise.
Mills is already busy tweaking his amendment to apply from Royal Assent, which would effectively reintroduce the transitional controls that lifted on 1 January. The new amendment also includes the line ‘notwithstanding the provisions of the European Communities Act 1972′.