Debates between Lord Green of Deddington and Lord Cormack during the 2019-2024 Parliament

Tue 26th Apr 2022
Nationality and Borders Bill
Lords Chamber

Consideration of Commons amendments & Consideration of Commons amendments

Nationality and Borders Bill

Debate between Lord Green of Deddington and Lord Cormack
Lord Green of Deddington Portrait Lord Green of Deddington (CB)
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I shall be extremely brief, noble Lords will be glad to hear. I should just like to draw attention to the state of public opinion, which is amazed by people arriving on our beaches in their tens of thousands. It was 30,000 last year; it could be double that this year. The public do not like it and they are right. It is very bad for the Government’s reputation. It is not so good for the Opposition either, in that the political system is failing to deal with an obviously very serious question.

The only way to deal with it is to break the business model of the traffickers. The Rwanda proposal is very far from ideal but for the present we have no alternative. I have to say, therefore, that it has my reluctant support.

Lord Cormack Portrait Lord Cormack (Con)
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My Lords, I just want to make three very brief points. First, I strongly agree with my noble friend Lord Kirkhope that ping-pong should not be an endless game. We should focus today on the two things which are recent and have come to our attention since the Bill came before us.

The first is dealt with by Amendment D1, tabled by the noble Baroness, Lady Lister of Burtersett, and supported by my noble friend Lady Stroud. The Government have very rightly said that Ukrainian refugees should be able to work when they get here—so they should. We do not need a different policy for other asylum seekers—a point made very eloquently by my noble friend Lady Stroud. I think we can focus on that today.

The other thing, of course, concerns Rwanda, where I strongly sympathise with the points made by my noble friend Lord Hailsham. Whatever the merits or otherwise of the policy—and I strongly sympathise with the brief but trenchant intervention of Theresa May in the other place—it ought to be for Parliament to make the ultimate decision. To my mind, the right reverend Prelate’s amendment is far too long; my noble friend Lord Hailsham’s is straight and to the point. If we are to deport asylum seekers from this country to a third country, it should be with the approbation of both Houses. I hope this House will not indulge in too many votes tonight because we have to observe, as my noble friend Lord Kirkhope said, the constitutional conventions and proprieties which mean that ping-pong should not be an endless game.