Liberal Democrats

The Tories are risking a new Windrush-style scandal

The Conservatives’ decision to overturn Liberal Democrat amendments shows that their Hostile Environment is alive and well.

By Alistair Carmichael, Oct 19, 2020 10:10

A sign pointing to passport control, with people climbing a flight of stairs in the background.

Conservative MPs have rejected all 10 cross-party amendments to the Government’s Immigration Bill passed by the House of Lords earlier this month, including three from the Liberal Democrats.

The 28-day time limit on immigration detention (Amendment 6) – introduced by Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Hamwee in the House of Lords – was rejected by 328 votes to 264.

Indefinite detention is inhumane, expensive and unnecessary.

Indefinite detention is inhumane, expensive and unnecessary. The Tories may have blocked a time limit today, but Liberal Democrats will continue the fight to save both money and misery.

Amendment 5 – tabled by Liberal Democrat Lord Oates – would force the Government to provide EU citizens in the UK who are granted Settled or Pre-Settled Status with physical proof of their migration status, instead of the digital-only proof under the Government’s current system. It was rejected by 331 votes to 260.

One other Liberal Democrat amendment from the House of Lords was overturned without a division: Amendment 2, to preserve the right of UK nationals living in the EU to bring non-British family members with them if they return to the UK.

The Conservatives' Hostile Environment is, sadly, alive and well.

The Conservatives’ decision to overturn these Liberal Democrat amendments shows how empty their promises to guarantee citizens’ rights after Brexit and to fix the broken immigration system really are. Their Hostile Environment is, sadly, alive and well.

The Windrush Scandal showed the devastating impact of the Hostile Environment on people who cannot easily prove their rights. By denying EU citizens physical proof of Settled Status, the Government risks making them the victims of a new Windrush-style Scandal.

Liberal Democrats will continue to fight to protect the rights of British nationals living in the EU and EU citizens in the UK.

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