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Lord Cope of Berkeley moved Amendment No. 2:

Page 1, line 11, leave out ("leave") and insert ("permission").

The noble Lord said: Amendment No. 2 stands in my name and that of my noble friend Lord Astor. It is suggested in the groupings that we should also discuss

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two consequential amendments; Amendments Nos. 2 and 4. Had Amendment No. 1 been agreed to, there would have been a vast number of consequential amendments. I did not think it right to fill the groupings list entirely with all such amendments, but merely sufficient to make my point.

This is a "plain English" amendment. At present, the Bill refers many times to "leave to enter" and "leave to remain", as does the existing legislation. The suggestion of the amendment is that the wording should be altered to "permission to enter" and "permission to remain". This may sound a very small point. However, from discussion with British Airways, I realised that about half the cases in which British Airways finishes up with a carrier's liability charge result from passengers arriving in the United Kingdom either without a visa or with one which has been used or is improper in some way. Quite a high percentage of such cases arise from misunderstandings of the various pieces of paper, either by the potential immigrants or by overseas staff of British Airways who handle such documentation.

The word "leave" has a number of different meanings. A little later in the Bill, reference is made to people being asked whether or not they have a "leave stamp". Those of us who had at least a little military experience in the course of National Service will think of a leave stamp as something which enables one to go away rather than to come in. I believe that the word "leave" is therefore the wrong word to be used in these circumstances these days. It is true that years ago that term was quite clear. However, the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor, no less, opened all our eyes to the possibilities of simplifying legal terms. This seems to come into the same category; hence this rather modest amendment.

I am aware that the Home Office is working hard to try to simplify the documentation. I commend it on such work and hope that it is going well. In moving the amendment, I believe that such work deserves to succeed. I understand that various working parties are involved. Their work is expected to come to some sort of fruition by next April. It would be helpful to know from the Minister whether it is still realistic to suppose that simpler documentation will be available by that date.

This is an important issue. After all, by definition we are dealing with people who are often in difficult personal circumstances, particularly those who are genuinely seeking asylum. Often, their first language is not English; indeed, often they do not speak any English. In addition, they may be dealing with airline officials and others whose first language is not English. This is not a trivial matter, but one of importance. I beg to move.

Lord Renton: I appreciate the comments made by my noble friend. However, I hope that I shall not be considered a disloyal Conservative if I say that I have some doubts about his proposal. He referred to the desire of the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor to simplify legal English. As I understand it, the word "leave" is originally of Anglo-Saxon derivation, whereas the word "permission" is of Latin

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origin. The word "leave" is a shorter word, and it has several meanings, but most people know that one of its most clearly understood meanings is "permission". If we replace the word "leave" as proposed in the amendment, it will have to be altered throughout the statute book.

I hope that my noble friend does not think that I am teasing him or being difficult, but I notice that in Amendments Nos. 5, 7 and 8 he uses the word "leave".

My most friendly advice, if I dare to give advice to such a noble friend, is not to press the amendment.

Lord Dholakia: I welcome the advice given by the noble Lord, Lord Renton. I now understand the Anglo-Saxon explanation. However, as an Indo-Saxon who speaks a number of languages, I think that the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Cope of Berkeley, makes a lot of sense. There is a great deal of confusion and many interpretations of the word "leave", and unless the Minister advises that the word "leave" has a legal significance, the word "permission" would make more sense.

Lord Clinton-Davis: I was bemused to hear the noble Lord conclude his speech by asking for leave. Did he mean permission?

Lord Williams of Mostyn: "Leave to enter" and "leave to remain" both have their origins in the Immigration Act 1971 and they are really technical terms, well known to people in this country and abroad because they are applied to circumstances where an individual is subject to immigration control and therefore requires authorisation to enter or to remain. The noble Lord, Lord Cope, is right to say that if we started on this giddy path of change, a vast number of changes would be required not only to the Bill but to all the administrative and legal processes involving changes to the relevant legislation, rules and regulations. People do know what the phrases "leave to enter" and "leave to remain" mean; they have been used for almost 30 years; they are technical terms and well understood.

The noble Lord asked whether we would hope to have completed the work by next April. That is our aim.

We take the noble Lord's point in regard to the stamp. We are reviewing the endorsements and consulting on them. The issue is what is used on the stamp on the endorsement, not the legislation. Not for the first time I think the advice of the noble Lord, Lord Renton, should be followed.

Lord Cope of Berkeley: I am certainly not going to enter into a competition with the noble Lord, Lord Renton, as to who is the better Conservative; I am in no doubt that it is the noble Lord. If any disagreement should lead to a split between us, I will yield at once.

On the question of whether to prefer the Anglo-Saxon term or the Latin word, Latin has something to recommend it in this context, simply because it is the basis of many other languages, and "permission" is more readily translated into words of a similar character in other languages which come from the same root. Nevertheless, I accept that there would be great

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difficulty in making the change. I acknowledge that there would be a large number of consequential amendments, not least to some of my later amendments on the order paper. The noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor indicated by his actions that these things had become possible, but perhaps, having heard the noble Lord, Lord Williams, that is not entirely the case. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 3 and 4 not moved.]

Lord Cope of Berkeley moved Amendment No. 5.

Page 1, line 20, at end insert--
("provided that the person is given notice of the duration and conditions of any leave granted, or of the reasons for refusal and the rights of appeal against this.").

The noble Lord said: There are a number of amendments to be discussed with Amendment No. 5, some of a similar character moved by these Benches, and some from the Government.

The purpose of the amendment is to ensure that if leave is granted, the person to whom it is granted understands the necessary conditions and timings, which should be in written form. It is important that people other than the individual concerned should understand what the permission amounts to. Breaking a time limit or condition is a criminal offence, and people should not be in a position where they can inadvertently commit a criminal offence. They should also know when they need to apply for an extension of their stay, where applicable.

It is important that immigration staff and police, for example, should be able to see a piece of paper which clearly states the permission granted, the conditions and the time limit.

This is a sensible amendment. I beg to move.

Lord Dholakia: I support the amendment. It is often difficult to interpret the stamps on people's passports and to see what conditions have been attached to entry into a country.

The noble Lord, Lord Cope, has made an important point. It is a criminal offence to break the time limit or condition. It is clear that if people do not understand the provisions in their passports, then they are likely to get into difficulty.

The people who are responsible for implementing the Immigration Act should also clearly understand the conditions attached to an individual's stay in this country. People could be arrested and detained for some time before the precise nature of the condition was discovered. That is a waste of money and time, and there should be no room for misunderstanding.

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As we move more and more to computerised records, smart cards and other non-written means of communication, it is very important that people should understand precisely the conditions applying to their stay in this country.

Lord Cope of Berkeley: I apologise for not speaking to Amendment No.6, which, although it has a different character to Amendments Nos. 5 and 8, is included in this grouping.

The amendment seeks to insert a new paragraph to ensure that only conditions of a kind which can already be imposed on leave to remain may be prescribed under these provisions. Under Section 3 of the 1971 Act there can be a time limit or a restriction or prohibition in relation to employment, a requirement to register with the police and a requirement not to have recourse to public funds.

It has been suggested to us by the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association that without an amendment of this nature, different conditions could be set by order. I doubt if that is the Government's intention, but it is only right to put the amendment forward in order to probe the matter.

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