Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill — Prevent the government from interpreting the Geneva Convention so that terrorism can be used as grounds to dismiss asylum claims — rejected — 16 Nov 2005 at 17:45

The majority No voters rejected an amendment[1] to the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill. The amendment aimed to remove a clause from the Bill entirely[2].

The clause relates to Article 1 (F)(c) of the Refugee Convention agreed in Geneva in 1951. This allows states to reject asylum applications where the people in question have "been guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations." In the Bill this particular clause would apply Article 1 (F)(c) to acts of terrorism, and/or encouraging others to commit these acts, meaning the government could reject asylum seekers with a suspected background in terror. If a person appeals against their asylum application being rejected, the appeal will always be dismissed if Article 1 (F)(c) applies.

The Liberal Democrats explained their reasoning for removing the clause as follows:

  • 'I do not understand why the clause is necessary, and that view is shared by the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA). In a briefing to me, the ILPA pointed out that the 1951 convention is an international convention in respect of which the international jurisprudence and UNHCR statements are relevant. The ILPA put it to me: "To purport to interpret it in statute is to fail to respect this jurisprudence and to usurp the role of judges in interpreting it." As ever, the Government seek to go much further than is necessary. The definition they want to import is much wider than is either necessary or desirable.'[3]

However, the government argued:

  • 'The charge is that clause 51 is not compatible with the refugee convention, but part of the justification for clause 51 in all its glory is that it reflects the relevant Security Council resolutions that refer to the guiding principles of the UN [United Nation]. UN Security Council resolution 1373 states that "knowingly financing, planning and inciting terrorist acts" as well as the commission of such acts constitute acts "contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations."'[4]

The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill became law in 2006. Its main aims were to:[5]

  • Restrict appeals from those are refused entry to the UK to work or study. Only rejected asylum applications can have a full appeal
  • Criminalise employers who knowingly employ illegal immigrants
  • Allow biometric data to be taken from people entering the UK
  • Requires that asylum is refused to anyone who is involved in terrorist activities


Debate in Parliament | Source |

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con0 000.0%
DUP7 0077.8%
Independent0 20100.0%
Lab268 (+2 tell) 4077.4%
LDem0 50 (+2 tell)083.9%
PC0 30100.0%
Respect0 10100.0%
SNP0 4066.7%
Total:275 64054.2%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Jeremy CorbynIslington NorthLabaye
Lynne JonesBirmingham, Selly OakLab (minister)aye
John Martin McDonnellHayes and HarlingtonLabaye
Alan SimpsonNottingham SouthLabaye

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