Legislative Scrutiny: Nationality and Borders Bill (Part 3) – Immigration offences and enforcement Contents



1 Introduction

The Nationality and Borders Bill

Human Rights in issue

Our Inquiry

2 Small boat crossings in the English Channel

Small boat crossings in the Channel

Why have the number of Channel crossings increased?

Assisting small boats in the Channel

What happens when individuals arrive in the UK?

Current Government policy regarding small boats in the Channel

Are pushback tactics currently being used in the Channel?

Removal to safe third countries

3 Maritime enforcement and human rights

Right to Life: Duty to protect and save lives at sea

Duties on the master of a ship to assist those in distress at sea

Safety of Life at Sea: SOLAS, SAR and UNCLOS

Compatibility of a pushback policy with the right to life and international maritime law

Protection of victims of human trafficking or slavery (Article 4 ECHR, Article 8 ICCPR, ECAT and the UN Palermo Protocol)

Non-refoulement: Refugee Convention, the prohibition on torture or degrading or inhuman treatment or punishment (Article 3 ECHR & Article 7 ICCPR), the right to life (Article 2 ECHR & Article 6 ICCPR) and the prohibition of slavery

Prohibition on collective expulsions and the need for an individualised assessment

The rights of the child

The right to an effective remedy (Article 13 ECHR)


4 Maritime enforcement powers in the Nationality and Borders Bill

The current law

Powers in the Nationality and Borders Bill

Clause 44 and Schedule 6: Enforcement powers in relation to ships

Compliance with international law when undertaking maritime enforcement

Criminal and civil responsibility for maritime enforcement actions

The appropriateness of applying enforcement powers to dinghies and small vessels.

Power to seize and dispose of property

Practical implications of push backs

Will it ever be safe to use pushback tactics?

Unintended consequences

Safety and wellbeing concerns for border officials

Will pushback tactics deter Channel crossings?

5 Criminalisation of asylum seekers and those who help them

Changes to the offence of illegal entry

Illegal entry and arrival

Article 31 of the Refugee Convention

Domestic law and practice

Further ramifications

Facilitation offences

Section 25, Immigration Act

Section 25A, Immigration Act

Implications of proposed changes

The right to life

6 Removals and notice periods


Current policy

Clause 45 of the Bill

Other ramifications

7 Immigration Detention and Bail

Immigration detention

Clause 47 and Immigration Bail

Appendix 1: Amendments

Appendix 2: Analysis of survey responses

Conclusions and recommendations

Declaration of interests

Formal minutes


Published written evidence

List of Reports from the Committee during the current Parliament

Published: 1 December 2021 Site information    Accessibility statement