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Mr. John Burnett (Torridge and West Devon) (LD): Will the Minister give way?

Beverley Hughes: I shall not take an intervention because the hon. Gentleman has heard hardly any of the debate. I am happy to take interventions from people who have been present.

A panel of three will hear complex cases. There will be a facility for either party to apply for review. A senior judge will undertake that review and can uphold, overturn or replace the decision or instruct a rehearing. The president can take novel and complex issues of law to the Court of Appeal. I fail to understand how that is tantamount to what my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Medway (Mr. Marshall-Andrews), my hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow (Mr. Gerrard), and the hon. Members for Woking (Mr. Malins) and for Winchester (Mr. Oaten) described as removal of judicial oversight. It is not.

Mr. McWalter: As part of the process, will the published minutes of meetings be made available to Members of Parliament who might take an interest in such cases, even if they are not placed in the public domain?

Beverley Hughes: It is standard practice under the current mechanisms. Although it is a matter for the Department for Constitutional Affairs, I do not understand why it cannot be continued for adjudicators, and currently tribunal adjudicators, so that they produce a report that summarises their conclusions and the reasons for them. I imagine that that will happen.

Keith Vaz: My hon. Friend has correctly said that progress has been made at the immigration and nationality directorate, but is she seriously suggesting that the detail of how the appeal system will operate has

17 Dec 2003 : Column 1673

not yet been worked out? Are we going to remove a whole tier of the appeal system without the Government having worked out the details?

Beverley Hughes: No, my hon. Friend must have misheard me, or perhaps he was not listening for a moment, because I said that there would be more time in Committee for Ministers to explain the detail, which has been fully worked out. Indeed, we have involved the judiciary in that process, as he would expect.

Hon. Members have identified the quality of decision making at both stages, the initial decision and the appeal, and I agree that that is crucial—[Interruption.] I shall finish my point if hon. Members will allow me to. That issue is critical, which is why we have been working on it and will continue to work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to take the matter further.

Mr. Marshall-Andrews: Will the Minister be good enough to point to the part of the Bill, which I might well have missed, in which the appeal procedure—albeit within the tribunal—is set out, including the senior judge, and in which it is set out how the senior judge is appointed?

Beverley Hughes: I should be happy to set out those details in Committee. I am not prepared to spend time in a Second Reading debate on a matter of detail for the Committee.

I acknowledge the concern of the many hon. Members who raised the issue of clause 7; I shall not take up time naming them all, because it involved nearly everybody. This is a difficult issue, and I repeat that our intention is not to put children into care as a result of this measure, contrary to the deliberate misinformation put out by some newspapers—[Interruption.] I would ask hon. Members to consider this point. We must face this difficult question—and it is a question for every Member of the House. When families have come to the end of the process and been refused, should we carry on housing them and paying them ad infinitum if they refuse to go home or to co-operate with the arrangements regarding re-documentation? That cannot be right.

Mr. Dawson: Will my hon. Friend give way?

Beverley Hughes: No, I will not.

Most of our constituents would expect us to conclude that people must take responsibility for their position, and that parents must be responsible for their children. I understand the concerns—

Mr. Dawson: Will my hon. Friend give way?

Beverley Hughes: I have 15 minutes in which to respond to every Member. My hon. Friend has had 12 minutes for his own speech. I need to come to my conclusion.

The details of the way in which the process will operate are fundamentally important, and we shall

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articulate those details in Committee. The process will involve an interview and up to four letters explaining exactly what will happen, so that people will be under no illusions.

The Bill is the next essential stage in our programme of reforms to the asylum and immigration system, and it responds to the continuing and increasingly sophisticated abuses of that system. It also builds on the progress that we have already made. Genuine refugees have nothing to fear from the measures in the Bill. We are getting tougher on traffickers and on those seeking to play the system, to ensure that the public have confidence in that system. In turn, that will ensure that genuine refugees and legal migrants can continue to be welcomed here and valued for the important contribution that they make to life in the United Kingdom.

I recognise that this is a difficult issue, and we need to balance the rights and responsibilities of all those concerned in the process, including asylum seekers. In case my hon. Friend the Member for Hackney, North and Stoke Newington (Ms Abbott) is under the illusion that I do not see any asylum seekers, I must tell her that I do, at every advice surgery. I am therefore putting forward these proposals with a full knowledge of the interests of both constituents and asylum seekers. The Bill is in the interests of our positive approach to immigration, of refugees worldwide, of the communities in Britain and, above all, of our constituents—the people whom we represent—who rightly expect us to have a fair system.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 78, Noes 287.

Division No. 16
[6:59 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Allan, Richard
Baker, Norman
Barnes, Harry
Barrett, John
Beith, rh A. J.
Bennett, Andrew
Brake, Tom (Carshalton)
Breed, Colin
Bruce, Malcolm
Burnett, John
Burstow, Paul
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Campbell, rh Menzies (NE Fife)
Carmichael, Alistair
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chidgey, David
Connarty, Michael
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cotter, Brian
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Dawson, Hilton
Doughty, Sue
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Ewing, Annabelle
Fisher, Mark
Foster, Don (Bath)
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Gidley, Sandra
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Hancock, Mike
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Heath, David
Holmes, Paul
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Keetch, Paul
Kennedy, rh Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness)
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Llwyd, Elfyn
McDonnell, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Moore, Michael
Morgan, Julie
Öpik, Lembit
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Pugh, Dr. John
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Rendel, David
Salmond, Alex
Sanders, Adrian
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Stunell, Andrew
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thurso, John
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Wareing, Robert N.
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Weir, Michael
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Wishart, Pete
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Neil Gerrard and
Mr. Kelvin Hopkins


Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Blunkett, rh David
Boateng, rh Paul
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Burns, Simon
Burnside, David
Byers, rh Stephen
Caborn, rh Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Colman, Tony
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Cranston, Ross
Cruddas, Jon
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, rh John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Farrelly, Paul
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Follett, Barbara
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, Margaret
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Hutton, rh John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Eric
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W)
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Kaufman, rh Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Ann (Brentford)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McDonagh, Siobhain
McFall, John
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Martlew, Eric
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Alan
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Mole, Chris
Moran, Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Morris, rh Estelle
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, rh Paul (Torfaen)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan (Wansdyke)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Edward
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Diana
Owen, Albert
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pond, Chris (Gravesham)
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, rh John
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, rh Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Salter, Martin
Savidge, Malcolm
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simon, Siôn (B'ham Erdington)
Singh, Marsha
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, rh Chris (Islington S & Finsbury)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Nick Ainger and
Ms Bridget Prentice

Question accordingly negatived.

17 Dec 2003 : Column 1677

Main Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 62 (Amendment on Second or Third Reading):—

The House divided: Ayes 412, Noes 72.

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