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

Wed 2nd Mar 2022
Nationality and Borders Bill
Lords Chamber

Lords Hansard - Part 1 & Report stage: Part 1

Nationality and Borders Bill

Debate between Lord Green of Deddington and Lord Hylton
Lord Hylton Portrait Lord Hylton (CB)
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My Lords, we have heard some very moving speeches. Because I have consistently spoken over the years in favour of family reunion, I will say something about Amendments 47 and 48, which I support. I urge the Government to take them away and combine the best points from both of them into something workable, practical and possible to implement.

It is most important that children and young people who are already here should be able to sponsor their close relatives, and, conversely, older people here should be able to sponsor their younger next of kin.

Lord Green of Deddington Portrait Lord Green of Deddington (CB)
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My Lords, I offer just a sentence on some of these amendments.

On Amendment 48, we need to bear in mind the risk that if we set up what is now proposed, children who are not yet in Europe will feel obliged to take quite serious risks to get into Europe to take advantage of it. With regard to Amendment 49, Syria is a good example. We decided that something needed to be done. We chose a target that, if you like, was doable—5,000 a year—and we did it. I take some encouragement from that. However, we need to be careful about the numbers, because we are already taking 40,000 a year, and if the Channel gets any worse that could be 70,000. We need to be careful not to lose the public’s support, which underlies all this.

Lastly, on Amendment 51, I have a good deal of sympathy with the comments of my noble friend Lord Alton on the Yazidis and others in Iraq. It may be that we should aim to do something similar to what was done over Syria, but again with a cap, in case the numbers run out of control. That has, indeed, been included in subsection (4) of the amendment, I think.

I mentioned public opinion, which changes from time to time. There is certainly very strong opposition to what is happening in the Channel; there is widespread public feeling that the Government, having promised to reduce immigration, have in fact lost control of the Channel. That, indeed, is the case. We cannot really expect the public to distinguish very clearly between asylum and other kinds of immigration. They are very uneasy, and in taking policy forward we need to keep that well in mind.