Documents to download

The Illegal Migration Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 7 March 2023 and the House of Lords on 27 April 2023. It was considered in a Lords Committee of the whole House for five days between 24 May and 14 June, and at Lords report stage for three days between 28 June and 5 July.

The bill as amended at Lords report stage is now available (PDF). Lords third reading is on 10 July and the bill returns to the Commons on 11 July.

New material and further scrutiny

A significant amount of relevant material was published after the bill left the Commons. The Home Office published its overarching economic impact assessment (PDF) and a child’s rights impact assessment (PDF) towards the end of the bill’s passage in the Lords, in addition to an existing equality impact assessment (PDF).

The bill has been considered in detailed reports by the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, Constitution Committee and Joint Committee on Human Rights.

The Senedd of Wales voted in June to withhold legislative consent. The Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament decided that the bill did not require a vote on legislative consent.

Changes made in the Lords

Government amendments approved at committee stage were generally minor, technical or clarificatory. A number of non-government amendments were debated at committee but not voted upon until report stage.

The Lords made a number of government and non-government amendments at report stage, including 20 amendments approved following a division in which the government was defeated:

  • Amendment 5, providing that “nothing in this Act shall require any act or omission” that conflicts with certain international treaties, such as the United Nations Refugee Convention
  • Amendment 6, eliminating the bill’s retroactive effect (so the government would not have a duty to remove people who arrive in the UK before commencement)
  • Amendment 12, which (with related amendments) maintains existing protections against removal for potential human trafficking victims
  • Amendment 14, permitting the processing of asylum claims by unaccompanied children
  • Amendment 15, providing that that asylum claims must be processed if the person has not been removed within six months
  • Amendment 37, preventing the removal of LGBT people to certain countries
  • Amendment 51, applying existing safeguards on detention of unaccompanied children to the bill’s proposed detention powers
  • Amendment 57, applying existing safeguards on detention of accompanied children to the bill’s proposed detention powers
  • Amendment 65, applying existing safeguards on detention of pregnant women to the bill’s proposed detention powers
  • Amendment 76, applying existing ‘Hardial Singh’ safeguards on immigration detention to the bill’s proposed detention powers
  • Amendment 89, providing that unaccompanied children could not be removed from local authority to Home Office accommodation (as proposed by the bill) unless necessary for their welfare
  • Amendment 95, maintaining existing protections against removal for potential human trafficking victims exploited in the UK
  • Amendment 96, strengthening the proposed exception to the bill whereby some potential human trafficking victims could remain in the UK to cooperate with a criminal investigation or prosecution
  • Amendment 130, reducing the threshold for someone to succeed in a challenge to removal from the UK on the basis that it risks causing them “serious harm”
  • Amendment 152, leaving out a clause that would prevent UK courts from granting injunctions to prevent or delay someone’s removal from the UK
  • Amendment 156A, maintaining the right of people assessed as being over 18 to appeal against that decision
  • Amendment 158A, extending the scope for judges to quash a decision that a person is over 18 if challenged by judicial review
  • Amendment 164, requiring the Home Secretary to establish new “safe and legal routes” for refugees to come to the UK
  • Amendment 168, giving the National Crime Agency a duty to combat organised crime in relation to Channel crossings by small boat
  • Amendment 168A, requiring the Home Secretary to “prepare a ten-year strategy for tackling refugee crises affecting migration by irregular routes” in collaboration with other countries, to include measures to tackle people smuggling

The bill is due to return to the Commons on 11 July 2023. Further time for ‘ping-pong’ consideration of Lords amendments has been scheduled for 17 July, and if necessary 18 and 19 July.

Previous briefings on the bill

House of Commons Library briefing CBP-9747 describes the bill as considered at Commons second reading, and Commons Library briefing CBP-9776 addresses amendments during Commons committee stage. A House of Lords Library briefing describes the bill as introduced to the Lords.

Documents to download

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