Marathon Lords session goes through night til 4am as peers rage at migrant bill

The House of Lords sat through the night debating plans to stop small boats.

The Government pressed ahead with parliamentary scrutiny of the Illegal Migration Bill until 4.16am in a sign of its determination to progress the flagship legislation despite fierce opposition from unelected peers.

The proceedings in the upper chamber as part of the committee stage started at 3pm on Wednesday.

Wrapping up the session shortly before dawn on Thursday, deputy speaker and Tory peer Lord Lexden said: “The House do now adjourn – at long last.”

It is rare for the House, which would normally rise at about 10pm, to sit so late and the last time it did was during the stormy votes over Brexit.

Don’t miss…
Unelected peers threaten to slam brakes on Sunak’s plans to stop migrants[LATEST]

Although targets are set for the consideration of amendments at committee stage of a Bill, these are flexible and it is not unusual for extra days to be added.

The decision to push on is a sign of the Government’s will to progress the controversial legislation, which has been passed by the Commons.

Despite the lateness of the hour, an unusually large number of ministers remained in the chamber, along with the Lords chief whip and some Tory peers as an apparent safeguard in case a vote was called.

But some Lords were unhappy the Government continued with the parliamentary scrutiny until the early hours.

Labour former minister Lord Bach said: “Can I for my own part say how disgraceful I think it is we are debating these really important and serious matters at this hour in the morning.

“I think it’s so disappointing that this Bill is now being dealt with in this way at this hour of the morning.”

Shortly before midnight as peers debated the holding of migrants arriving in the UK by unauthorised means, Lib Dem Lord Scriven said: “It is ironic that we are talking about detention when the Government frontbench is trying to detain us here.

“What we are trying to do is our job of sensibly and calmly dealing with a Bill that has huge potential for the liberty and lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world. It is an absolute disgrace.”

Labour peer Baroness Lister of Burtersett said: “I wish to put on the record my protest at the fact that we are debating these important issues after midnight. It is disgraceful.”

The Illegal Migration Bill aims to ensure those who arrive in the UK without permission will be detained and promptly deported, either to their home country or a third country such as Rwanda.

Critics argue the draft legislation breaks international law and threatens modern slavery protections.

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Source: Read Full Article