Illegal Migration Act: Northern Ireland Debate

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Illegal Migration Act: Northern Ireland

David Jones Excerpts
Tuesday 14th May 2024

(1 month, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Tom Pursglove Portrait Tom Pursglove
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I know that the hon. and learned Lady is vehemently opposed to the Government’s position on tackling illegal migration. I believe that the Minister for Countering Illegal Migration, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Mid Dorset and North Poole (Michael Tomlinson), will be in front of her Committee tomorrow, and I have no doubt that she will want to ask those questions of him. To go back to the thrust of her question, though, the basis upon which we are facilitating relocations to Rwanda at this stage is that of the Nationality and Borders Act, which is not relevant to the Illegal Migration Act judgment that we are dealing with today.

David Jones Portrait Mr David Jones (Clwyd West) (Con)
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We were already aware that the Northern Ireland protocol or Windsor framework—whichever one prefers to call it—had resulted in a customs border in the Irish sea. If this judgment stands, it now appears to be the case that it has also destroyed the ability of the United Kingdom Government to determine who should remain within our own borders. Does my hon. Friend not agree, therefore, that the framework has been proven to be inimical to British sovereignty and should be renegotiated, or failing that —as my right hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (Sir John Redwood) has suggested—should be disapplied by legislation of this Parliament?

Tom Pursglove Portrait Tom Pursglove
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I would not accept that characterisation. As I have confirmed for the House a number of times, we are taking forward the Rwanda partnership on the basis of the Nationality and Borders Act—that is the legal footing on which we are advancing the policy at this stage. I am confident in that legal foundation, and we will appeal this judgment, which relates very specifically to the Illegal Migration Act.