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I made the point about weekly claims rather glibly, but I am convinced that the number of applications will increase. If the Government are intent on doing this—which they are, and it is clear that they will get this regulation this evening—they must monitor the consequences of this change and the extent to which what flows from it is an exponential increase in claimants in those circumstances.



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Lord McKenzie of Luton: My Lords, does the noble Lord not accept that these regulations put the position back to where we believed it was and to how it operated before the Bhakta case? We know how it operated before that case and the regulations are just taking us back there.

Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope: My Lords, that is a different point. Commissioner Rowland saw the possibility of getting an easement in a different area of the territory. That was identifying the synergy and was entirely positive. It is obvious that the Government think differently, and that is fine. There is a dispute not about the facts but about the consequences and whether we are walking away from an opportunity to make the claims of those who come from furth of the United Kingdom easier in terms of the habitual residence test. History will show whether the Minister is right or we on this side of the House are right. We have had a good discussion. I understand the position but I am not persuaded.

I do not think it would do the House any service at this stage to do anything other than to withdraw the Motion. I therefore beg leave to withdraw the Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.


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