Amendment to the Motion

Part of Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (Amendment of List of Safe States) Regulations 2024 - Motion to Approve – in the House of Lords am 8:30 pm ar 19 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord German Lord German Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol 8:30, 19 Mawrth 2024

My Lords, if I were to ask the House to consider whether the five questions I posed have been answered in sufficient detail, I would probably have a negative answer. It is my view that we have tried to find a rationale for a workable procedure. We do not have the sort of information we would need in order to make a proper judgment. That was what the Select Committee advising this House decided. We were asked to test this out because they did not have the information to do so. I do not think we are much wiser.

It was pretty fundamental for us to know the sources of information on which the Government made their decision. If I were asked what a reasonable, workable system might be, I would say that there are people who could be safely returned. I am in favour of returning those who have no right to be here. Equally, as we have heard from the noble Baroness, Lady D’Souza, there are people who would definitely be in trouble if they were returned. These are not just individuals but groups of people. We would like to understand and know where people who, because of the group they are in, would be unsafe in going back to India and Georgia. This would aid the balance of decision-making. All the time we have talked about it being for the individual to make it clear that they believe they have exceptional circumstances, not for the Government to understand it. The danger is that people get used to what these circumstances are. If, for example, you are a Dalit and know that you are likely to be persecuted, or if you were politically active in Georgia and caused some uproar, you will soon be testing this out as an individual within a group of people. It strikes me as being unhelpful to put all those individuals who are in that circumstance through costly court and other procedures one at a time to make sure that it works.

Guidance was fundamental to the view of the Select Committee that advised us. All we know from this discussion so far is that the guidance is to be updated, but we do not know what it is. I and the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby, asked about retrospection. Will this apply to people who have the right to have their case heard, or will it apply only to people who have come in subsequently? We did not get an answer to that question either. I would put it down as an all bar one answer to the queries that we have put so far. We are having this discussion in the Rwanda Bill and these discussions will be ongoing. If this House continues to be without the information upon which we can judge whether the procedure that the Government are adopting is correct, then the Government are in for a bumpy ride for the very few months they may have left to make these decisions.

This is a matter which we will return to and one with unanswered questions. I beg leave to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment to the Motion withdrawn.

Motion agreed.