Clause 13 - Enforcement powers in relation to ships

Modern Slavery Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:45 am ar 9 Medi 2014.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 10:45, 9 Medi 2014

I beg to move amendment 6, in clause 13, page 9, line 23, after “waters” insert “or in international waters that do not form part of the territorial sea of any State”.

This amendment enables law enforcement officers to exercise enforcement powers in relation to stateless vessels in international waters that do not form part of the territorial sea of any State, where a modern slavery offence is suspected.

Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Ceidwadwyr, The Wrekin

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Amendment 28, in clause 13, page 9, line 44, at end add—

‘(6A) The Secretary of State shall set out in a published memorandum how the authority under subsection (3) is to be exercised.”

Amendment 58, in clause 13, page 10, line 4, at end add—

‘(7A) The Secretary of State shall, by way of regulations—

(a) establish means to ensure that trends in maritime trafficking and forced labour in the UK and international waters are identified and tracked;

(b) establish means to ensure that intelligence and information on maritime trafficking and forced labour are communicated to the enforcement officers set out in this provision;

(c) establish means to ensure that co-ordination and intelligence sharing in relation to maritime trafficking and forced labour occurs between the agencies responsible for the enforcement officers as set out in this provision;

(d) establish means to ensure that enforcement officers set out in this provision are aware of their responsibilities to potential and actual victims of trafficking and forced labour;

(e) receive bi-annual reports from the agencies responsible for the enforcement officers in relation to their attempts to identify and disrupt maritime trafficking and forced labour, and to assist the victims.”

Amendment 57, in clause 13, page 10, line 11, at end add “ and all territorial waters of the United Kingdom including its dependencies and territories.”

Amendment 27, in clause 13, page 11, line 3, at end insert—

‘(10) The Secretary of State must submit a report annually to Parliament on the use of sections 11, 12 and 13 of this Act in the previous 12 months.”

Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

This grouping takes in a range of amendments to clauses 11 to 13 regarding powers in relation to land vehicles, ships or aircraft. Trafficking involves the movement of people with the intention of exploiting them. Slavery, servitude and forced labour can also take place at sea, for example on fishing vessels, so it is important that law enforcement has appropriate powers to stop those engaged in trafficking and slavery at sea. It is also important that law enforcement can disrupt the activity of traffickers by detaining the ships, vehicles and aircraft being used to bring modern slaves into the UK, and ultimately ask the courts to forfeit the assets used in trafficking. I am grateful to members of the Committee who have agreed with me about the principle that these powers are justified.

I now turn to the detail of the amendments; I will start with Government amendment 6 and then move on to the amendments proposed by honourable Members.

Government amendment 6 is about the enforcement powers in relation to ships without nationality where modern slavery is suspected, as set out in clause 13 and schedule 1 to the Bill. Currently the Bill enables these enforcement powers to be exercised in relation to stateless vessels within domestic waters. The amendment extends the enforcement powers in relation to ships, so that enforcement officers can act on a stateless vessel in international waters that are not part of the territorial sea of another state. Such vessels are not protected by any state, and therefore states are able to exercise enforcement jurisdiction over them, both in their own waters and in international waters. Currently, however, this is not provided for in domestic legislation.

The Committee will want to know how a stateless vessel is defined—

Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

The provisions of clause 13(5) relate to

“territorial sea adjacent to England and Wales”,

so does the Government amendment gazump that measure?

Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

If I may explain the definition of a stateless vessel, perhaps we could then consider the issue of the waters that are covered by the amendment.

A stateless vessel is a “ship without nationality”, to use the term in the Bill for a stateless vessel. The definition in the Bill sets out that a vessel is stateless where it is not registered to a state or otherwise entitled to fly the flag of any state, or where it flies the flag of two or more states, using them according to convenience. The amendment will mean that enforcement officers have appropriate powers to act in relation to stateless vessels, in line with international law, where modern slavery is suspected. Clause 13(5) only relates to “foreign” ships within UK territorial waters, whereas the amendment is about stateless vessels; it enables immigration officers to board those vessels in waters that are not the territorial waters of any one state.

I now turn to amendment 57. I am grateful to the hon. Member for Foyle for tabling this amendment to the enforcement powers in relation to ships. These powers are currently focused on the waters surrounding England and Wales. The amendment aims to extend them to cover territorial waters around the entire UK, and around Crown dependencies and overseas territories.

There are certain technical difficulties with the amendment, but I wish to focus on the important issue that has been raised. The Government are committed to creating an effective new enforcement power in relation to ships. More broadly, I am committed to working with the devolved Administrations to ensure that we have a co-ordinated and effective UK-wide approach to tackling all aspects of modern slavery. So I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for tabling this amendment, and I look forward to hearing his contribution when we discuss the amendment. It is perhaps incumbent on me to allow him to speak to that amendment and then maybe I can respond.

Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

Amendment 27 seeks to have an annual report submitted to Parliament on the uses of what would be sections 11, 12 and 13 of the potential Act in the preceding 12 months. Amendment 28 seeks to set out a memorandum as to,

“how the authorities under subsection (3) is to be exercised.”

I have tabled these amendments as a debating point and to clarify some of the issues relating to clause 13. I am pleased that my hon. Friend the Member for Foyle has tabled his amendments; some of the issues that I wish to test are effectively the issues that he has focused on more directly, relating to the use of the powers in England and Wales.

Clause 13 is very welcome and we do not seek to divide the Committee on it. I welcome the clause and the powers in schedule 1. Schedule 1 allows an officer appropriately to,

“stop the ship…board the ship…require the ship to be taken to a port (in England and Wales or elsewhere) and detained there.”

The enforcement officer may search the ship and anyone or anything on it. Those are extremely valuable powers that are needed to enforce the prevention of domestic slavery and other forms of trafficking.

The reason why I have tabled the amendments in the way I have is not necessarily because I want an annual report, nor that I want to have in the clause how the authority is to be exercised, but I want clarity from the Minister as to the purposes of the clause. For example, clause 13(3) says:

“The authority of the Secretary of State is required before an enforcement officer may exercise Schedule 1 powers in relation to a United Kingdom ship in international waters if their exercise would occur at a time when the ship is in the territorial sea of any State.”

I have tabled amendment 28 to request a memorandum to look at how that authority would be exercised, because I am keen to know how the Secretary of State gives that authority prior to an enforcement officer boarding or stopping that ship, or using other mechanisms in schedule 1. If we have officers responsible for that, at what stage, how and in what form is the authority of the Secretary of State given? Does the Secretary of State give a blanket authority to those officers? Does the Secretary of State have to give an individual authority for each  potential incidence of enforcement under clause 13? Does the Secretary of State need to be available to give authority for enforcement to happen?

I asked those questions in our pre-Committee scrutiny of the officials and they replied that they would write to us. I do not think I have had much detail on that. If I have and it has escaped my memory, it would be useful for the Minister to re-emphasise it. I am interested in how that authority will be exercised. That was the purpose of the memorandum, because there are a range of potential areas where the authority under clause 13(3) is required.

Secondly—this leads into the amendment tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Foyle—I have asked for an annual report on the exercise of clauses 11, 12 and 13 because, again, under clause 13(5):

“The authority of the Secretary of State is required before an enforcement officer may exercise Schedule 1 powers in relation to a foreign ship outside the landward limits of the territorial sea adjacent to England and Wales.”

Does an official of the National Crime Agency, a constable of a particular force or an immigration officer know where Scotland waters stop and England waters commence? Do they know where the waters around Northern Ireland stop and the waters of England or Wales commence? They may have a magnificent map on their desk to show them, but I believe there is a potential gap there in the operation of clause 13. Irrespective of anything else, we already know, through previous legislation—my hon. Friend the Member for Foyle may have different views on this from me—that, for example, the National Crime Agency does not yet operate in Northern Ireland. We have debated that issue elsewhere. The Border Force does operate in Northern Ireland, and yet, under clause 13(5), the powers are only exercised on

“the landward limits of the territorial sea adjacent to England and Wales.”

Again, although there are devolved Administrations in Scotland and in Northern Ireland—we anticipate that Northern Ireland will be part of the United Kingdom for the foreseeable future, but who knows what will happen in Scotland in the next few weeks?—there is a gap, and I would welcome a view on that gap.

I would also welcome a view on clause 13(6), which states:

“Authority for the purposes of subsection (5) may be given only if—

(a) the home state has requested the assistance of the United Kingdom for the purpose mentioned in subsection (2)(a),

(b) the home state has authorised the United Kingdom to act for that purpose, or

(c) the Convention otherwise permits the exercise of Schedule 1 powers in relation to the foreign ship.”

I am asking for an annual report because there may be occasions when the home state does not request assistance or authorise the United Kingdom. It does not mean that the United Kingdom has no concerns about either the potential conduct of a vessel or its potential cargo. It would be helpful for the Minister, at some point—preferably now—to indicate to the Committee what happens when the home state refuses the United  Kingdom permission under the clause. I have used the device of an annual report because, in an annual report, that refusal of permission could be notified and made public and be subject to debate. Although that may not happen on occasions, there are many rogue states out there. There are many states that do not have agreements with the United Kingdom. There are many flags of convenience and organisations that would not necessarily wish to give permission to the Secretary of State to exercise his or her powers under the clause.

All of that provides an opportunity for the Minister to explore those issues. I am particularly interested in what my hon. Friend the Member for Foyle has to say, because it is vital that we do not have a blip on the radar by not having Scotland and Northern Ireland covered, in terms of territorial waters, by the enforcement powers under the Act.

Photo of Mark Durkan Mark Durkan Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Treasury)

I am delighted to follow the right hon. Gentleman in addressing this group of amendments. First of all, I note that the amendments in his name are, in many ways, complementary to the amendments that I have tabled. Although they overlap in large part, they diverge in other directions, but they are complementary rather than competitive. I am conscious that what I am proposing in amendment 58 is a field of work to be developed that would very much be the subject of the sort of memorandum that he is proposing in one amendment and the annual reports that he proposes in another. I will get to the details of amendment 58 shortly.

I shall start with amendment 57. It appears second on the amendment paper, but given that the Minister has addressed the issue of territorial jurisdiction in near waters by the UK, and that the right hon. Member for Delyn has discussed it too, I will begin with that amendment. Essentially, it is about the question not only of Northern Ireland and Scotland, but of the dependencies and territories—about which, more soon. At the minute, the wording of clause 13 seems ripe for confusion and uncertainty, so amendment 57 is aimed at clarifying some of that. The number of references in clause 13 to waters both in and outwith England and Wales gives rise to confusion about the applicability of the legislation.

I note fully that the Minister has again said that the Government want to work with the devolved Administrations in ensuring that overall arrangements are as strong and coherent as they can be. As I said about previous amendments, I do not think there would be any untoward anticipation regarding the interests or views of devolved Administrations, as long as they remain devolved. That depends on what happens soon in the case of Scotland. I do not think there is any untoward anticipation in our clarifying the legislation here.

Later in the Bill we will look at issues around the commissioner. Given that the Minister has set such store by the important role of the commissioner in ensuring that more is done to enforce proper pursuit and convictions, we need to be careful that in the criminal law aspects of the Bill we do not leave gaps and loopholes through which people can evade proper capture  and enforcement. We could end up creating difficulties for the commissioner with questions, doubts or gaps about their competence and the scope of the geographic competence of the agencies they deal with or look at.

Amendment 57 deals with all territorial waters of the United Kingdom, including its dependencies and territories. It is trying to ensure that we do not end up with questions about which part of the Irish sea a particular boat was in, or a boat’s whereabouts between Northern Ireland and Scotland, and therefore not around England and Wales. Given my background as an Irish nationalist and an MP in a border constituency, I am very conscious of the sensitivity of the definition of territorial waters and the historical claims of the Irish constitution. The aim is to ensure that, as a legacy of those uncertainties, we do not end up with doubts or gaps in this legislation. The aim is to make that good. I am confident that devolved Administrations, certainly the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive, would want to be able to develop means and mechanisms under their own capacity that are compatible with the best purposes of the Bill. In relation to some of the enforcement issues of the law at this level, I think they would find it more than acceptable, proper and proportionate for this legislation to scope the issue.

Dependencies and territories are very important in this regard. I do not know whether other hon. Members followed earlier in the summer the Guardian investigation that looked at a number of problems that affected what should be UK territorial waters in the north and south Atlantic. I know that Anti-Slavery International—particularly its staff in the Bangkok office—supplied some of the information and background that assisted the Guardian investigation. In response to that, other concerns have been raised by other people. Anti-Slavery International has received very credible reports from people who have worked in environmental inspections in fisheries, who identified clear signs of forced labour on fishing boats in UK territorial waters in the north and south Atlantic. Their evidence and concerns corroborated recent Guardian reports and, indeed, other evidence gathered by Anti-Slavery International that included fisheries outside of Asia.

One person who brought evidence to Anti-Slavery International noted that fisheries in the waters of the Ascension Island overseas territory seemed to be poorly managed and that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been selling licences to Asian fishing vessels. There does not seem to be much oversight of environmental and safety issues and certainly not of working conditions. Those licences are being sold to vessels from Taiwan, Japan, China, the Philippines and Korea. Evidence has recently come to light of considerable concerns in south-east Asia about trafficking on Taiwanese boats and some cases of trafficking of Cambodian men into Taiwanese boats that went to fish off the coast of Africa. Korean boats have been similarly implicated, using Filipino, Indonesian and other exploited labour in New Zealand and neighbouring waters. If the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is selling licences in that context and there is a lack of oversight, it raises the question of how joined-up the Government’s stated commitment to have world-beating legislation and provisions really is, particularly if we leave gaps in the legislation about what happens at sea—not just in international waters  but in seas that the UK has some particular territorial responsibility for. It seems amazing to leave those sorts of gaps.

Amendments 57 and 58 are aimed at addressing that problem. Amendment 58 would ensure that

“trends in maritime trafficking and forced labour in the UK and international waters are identified and tracked” and establish

“means to ensure that intelligence and information on maritime trafficking and forced labour are communicated to the enforcement officers”.

The other provisions of amendment 58 are also aimed at ensuring that when issues or concerns such as those that I outlined arise, they are properly addressed and tracked. Later in the Bill, some of us have tabled amendments to ensure that the commissioner is able to look at just how robustly those other responsibilities are being observed.

Amendment 57 purely deals with the issue of territorial applicability, to make good the gaps in the legislation and to prevent any misunderstanding. When the right hon. Member for Delyn spoke to his amendments, he made the point about the language that appears around home states. The confusion arises as to whether the Minister is going to tell us that, for these purposes, the devolved Administrations count as home states or whether the reference to “home state” can be interpreted as territory, meaning that the devolved Administrations are to count as territories or whatever. It would be better to make that much more explicit and clear in the form of some of the amendments before us, rather than the unwieldy and confusing wording that is currently in the Bill.

I raised the issues about things happening in the waters around and in overseas territories in the south Atlantic and, to a degree, in the north Atlantic. The question is not only to clarify the geographic scope of the provisions, but to make sure that there are powers to deal with those issues. The way to deal with the sorts of problems that I have raised and of which Anti-Slavery International has evidence is properly to empower enforcement authorities to inspect and to follow up their inspections. It is not enough simply to provide that power; as in other clauses, we must ensure that there is direction behind it. I understand that the United States is starting to consider similar measures.

I do not believe that amendment 58 would go beyond what the Government want to do by over-prescribing powers or procedures. It would, however, frame the necessary responsibility in the legislation and make provision for proper follow-up so that we can deal with the evidence that we are receiving about such problems. If we ignore that evidence, we will be ignoring aspects of trafficking and forced labour in different parts of the world on the seas. Without such provision, the Bill will be less relevant than the Government claim it will be.

Photo of Michael Connarty Michael Connarty Llafur, Linlithgow and East Falkirk 11:00, 9 Medi 2014

I was reminded, in the contribution by my right hon. Friend the Member for Delyn, of the capacity of Donald Dewar in a Bill Committee to take a small probing amendment and turn it into a major constitutional crisis. He usually used such devices to reveal that the Government had not thought the thing through, and my right hon. Friend’s questions show that that is true of this Bill. The Minister’s response, in  which she referred to the devolved parts of the UK, shows why there is such an upsurge in anger in Scotland, which may split the United Kingdom up.

Leaving out the rest of the UK waters, as the hon. Member for Foyle pointed out well, would leave us with a massive problem, particularly if there is a yes vote on 18 September. We would have a putative independent country to the north, covering a large part of the waters around the UK, with absolutely no fixed memorandum for how the Bill would operate. It may be that the arrogance and complacency of the Government, and perhaps even of everyone down here in the Westminster bubble, have led them to believe that that would never happen and that people would never do it. I hope that they do not, but it still leaves a big question: why is this not a Sewel Bill? Why have the Government not seriously considered introducing a Sewel motion to the effect that we would come up with something that covered all the United Kingdom waters, and particularly all the waters in Scotland? That would normally be done with a matter that affects Scotland. Or are we really saying that we only want to cover to wherever the border is—as we know, that is greatly disputed in the sea—so that ships can sail a few miles up the coast on the east or the west and nobody will pursue them, because they will be in Scottish waters rather than in English or Welsh waters? The Government have not thought that serious question through.

If the Minister—or anyone, in fact—had been listening to the words spoken by the First Minister and his colleagues since the Scottish National party became the majority party in 2007, he would understand their obsession with Margaret Thatcher’s selling off the rights of the Scottish people in the Scottish fishing industry to the EU when she was Prime Minister. Some say that she did so for the rebate. That basically gave the EU sole competence over fisheries around Scotland, and it is a great problem. The First Minister recently said that the first priority of a possible independent Scotland would be to seize back control of the seas around Scotland. That is a serious matter.

That is the ambition of a possible independent Scotland. For me, as a member of the European Scrutiny Committee, there has always been a problem when the UK Government inflict on Scotland problems that it was not consulted about and not designed to deal with: although we receive statements from Scottish Ministers about whether the devolved Assembly have been consulted about a proposal, we are never told what the devolved Assembly said; we are just told that they were consulted. We have to assume that such consultations affect the explanatory memorandums produced by British Ministries.

In this case, we are putting together a Bill. Unlike my right hon. Friend the Member for Delyn, who asked some salient questions earlier, I do not know a great deal about the minutiae of the seas, but I do know quite a lot about the politics of Scotland and the sensitivities of the Scottish Administration of any colour—whether a Lib Dem-Labour alliance or the SNP—to the fact that they were not properly brought on board in the designing of Bills in this place that would affect Scotland. To overcome that problem, we came up with a great idea. Lord Sewel, who was formerly the president of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities before he was  elevated to the House, said he was sensitive to that problem, having tried to hold together all the local authorities. He said we should have what are commonly known as the Sewel processes, by which we indicate by means of a motion that we are going to put together a Bill that will have an effect in Scotland, and after properly designing the Bill and consulting the Scottish Administration, we put into our law the consequences for Scotland. It is clear that we have not done that for the Bill. So massive questions are raised just by the probing amendment tabled by my right hon. Friend the Member for Delyn.

What is the Government’s response to the possibility that we might have an independent Scotland following 18 September? Are we really so arrogant that we thought if we just ignored them, it would not happen? Did we not think that maybe even if it did not happen, the maritime section would put Scottish waters at risk if they were not covered in the Bill?

It was quite clear from the evidence to the Joint Committee of Jenny Marra, the Member moving an anti-slavery Bill in Scotland—a private Member’s Bill that has been taken on by the Scottish Government—that there is nothing in the Scottish Bill to deal with these issues. That is such a huge omission that, as it clearly is the aspiration of Scotland to have a Bill that is parallel to ours that would make all of the UK secure against human trafficking, and as this measure is so important to our Bill, either the measure should have been discussed and included in the Scottish Bill, or a Sewel motion should have been introduced in this place, stating that what we pass in this place for England and Wales applies to Scotland. Possibly, the hon. Member for Foyle might feel the same way.

Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 11:15, 9 Medi 2014

This measure has practical applications for situations such as the recent tragic case in Dover, in which people were found in a container. What would happen if knowledge came to us about a container ship off the coast of Stranraer, which is outside the domain of England and Wales? Would the enforcement authorities be able to do anything about it? If they could not, what would happen to that ship?

Photo of Michael Connarty Michael Connarty Llafur, Linlithgow and East Falkirk

That is a very relevant question, because I understand that one of the passageways into the UK for many asylum seekers who end up in Scotland is through Stranraer. They get into the Republic of Ireland, travel on to Belfast and get on a ferry to Stranraer. They then claim asylum, having been trafficked halfway round the world sometimes, into Ireland and then on to UK waters through what is now an open border with the north. So that is a really relevant question. It is not just about an individual, but planned trafficking on a ship that picks people up either outside or inside the Republic or from Northern Ireland to land in Scotland. Going from the south to the north of Ireland is a problem, but a ship can do it. It is something that I had not thought greatly about until I had heard the tenor of this debate, particularly the detail given by the hon. Member for Foyle, whose constituency has a sea border to the north and is very close to the Republic.

Photo of Mark Durkan Mark Durkan Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Treasury)

I do not assert sea borders in Ireland too often. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the British-Irish Council, which comprises all eight  Administrations of these islands, including the Irish Republic, should be a forum in which these questions are discussed, so that everyone, whether at sovereign or devolved level, can come up with enforcement arrangements for the waters surrounding these islands that are as compatible and comparable as possible?

Photo of Michael Connarty Michael Connarty Llafur, Linlithgow and East Falkirk

That is an excellent suggestion. I do not know why the British-Irish Council has not been approached. I am a substitute member and our colleague Jim Dobbin, who has sadly just passed away, was a very active member. It is the kind of forum where the politics could be discussed, so that people are sensitive and accommodating, but matters must then be discussed with the officials. The officials of each Administration that is not England or Wales have to think about how they will cope with that. We have a small fisheries protection strategy at the moment with a very small allocation of protective vessels, but do people recall the cod war with Iceland, when ships were firing at and deliberately crashing into each other? I think we lost that war, quite honestly, because Iceland is now one of the sovereign places that can deny us the right to fish cod in their area and it still has a fishing industry, whereas we in the EU have been pillaged by the Spanish and others, who bought up great numbers of quotas.

It is a serious question. If we have independence—this is one of the great debates—what will be the configuration of a Scottish navy and army? They have said that they will have some protection vessels, but we say—

Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Ceidwadwyr, The Wrekin

Order. I understand that the hon. Gentleman is using other examples to focus on the clause, which is narrow in scope, so may I encourage the hon. Gentleman—

Photo of Michael Connarty Michael Connarty Llafur, Linlithgow and East Falkirk

This is very important, because the extent of the clause, and the Bill, without amendment, stops at the border of England and Wales. We do not have adequate protection vessels for what is going on now. Tam Baillie, the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland, said that he could name 150 children who had been trafficked into Scotland in an 18-month period. Where did they come from?

I will give an example. In my constituency, I have an Iraqi family. Two of their children came to Scotland. The case is somewhat contentious. When I asked how they arrived, I was told that they came in a big ship that came up the River Forth. They were taken by boat to land at a small fishing village in Fife and then they made their way to Grangemouth. They were up for deportation, but one of them turned out to be a rather good violinist and I received a letter from the head teacher of Grangemouth high school asking me to support its petition to have that young man allowed to stay. The head teacher was a friend of mine and a Labour party member and I said that I would write a letter in support of that child, even if that child was the most disruptive child in his school and was not a talented violinist, but he had been trafficked into Scotland on a boat up the River Forth.

We do not know much about what is happening now in the many ports and small fishing villages around Scotland, because we do not have adequate means to deal with it. The Bill basically says that the clauses do not cover Scotland, so “tough”; we do not do anything  with it. That is an omission that the Government will surely address, which has been exposed by our sensitive probing amendment.

Amendment 58 is full of many things that we should be doing. The points about overseas territories where we are licensing vessels are serious. I want to know whether the Minister will do anything about making sensible amendments to the Bill. Will she say that if ships are sailing out of England or Wales, we will try to do something about it, so if ships are licensed by and sailing out of British territories around the world, which we should be controlling, we will also do something about that?

I want to point out to the Minister something in the clause. We previously debated seniority. Clause 13(8) variously describes an enforcement officer as a constable or an immigration officer; it does not specify a senior immigration officer, as was defended stoutly, if illogically, by the Minister, who was sticking to her brief—

The Chair adjourned the Committee without Question put (Standing Order No. 88).

Adjourned till this day at Two o’clock.