Isabel Hardman Isabel Hardman

Immigration Bill row looms closer to Commons

The Commons is in legislative limbo at the moment, waiting for the Queen’s Speech, which has just been delayed another day to 4 June. But one thing that could well keep MPs rather well occupied before then is the Immigration Bill, which suffered a defeat in the House of Lords last night – as predicted on Coffee House.

The defeat was on Lord Pannick’s amendment which proposes setting up a committee of MPs and peers to consider whether plans to render foreign-born terror suspects ‘stateless’ should go ahead. Peers clearly did think it reasonable, as they backed it 242 votes to 180. The Bill will have its third reading on 6 May, before returning to the Commons for consideration of Lords amendments.

This is where it gets fun. The Home Office will seek to overturn this amendment, at which point MPs will be forced to vote on it. This will be fine if MPs have been reassured sufficiently about the controversial proposal to back it since they expressed concerns about it, but I’m not quite sure that they are: some seem to think that the government has historically campaigned against similar proposals in other countries.

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