UK Borders Bill — Give asylum seekers permission to work — rejected — 11 Oct 2007 at 15:48

The majority Not-Contents rejected an amendment[1] to the UK Borders Bill. The amendment would have allowed the government to introduce secondary legislation to let asylum seekers work. This would only apply to asylum seekers who were unable to return to their home country and whose application was outstanding for over 12 months. However, the amendment was defeated.

In moving the amendment Lord Avebury explained that:

  • 'we have always said that refusing long-term failed asylum seekers the right to work is economically illiterate and gratuitously damaging in human terms. It deprives society of the contribution that they can make with their skills and abilities and it is absolutely demoralising for the individuals concerned, whose only alternatives are to live on the charity of friends or relatives or to work illegally.'[2]

However, Lord Bassam of Brighton argued that:

  • 'Entering the country for economic reasons is not the same as seeking asylum. We do not allow asylum seekers to work as that could encourage asylum applications from those with no fear of persecution and slow down the processing of applications from genuine refugees.'[3]

The UK Borders Bill became law in 2007. Its main aims are to:[4]

  • Impose biometric identity documents on non-EU immigrants
  • Automatically deport foreign nationals if they are imprisoned for more than one year or commit specific offences
  • Give immigration officers powers to detain, search and seize assets of suspected illegal immigrants


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

PartyMajority (Not-Content)Minority (Content)Turnout
Bishop0 28.3%
Con0 00.0%
Crossbench4 9 (+1 tell)7.4%
Lab69 (+2 tell) 032.0%
LDem0 27 (+1 tell)35.9%
UUP1 0100.0%
Total:74 3816.1%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

Lords 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 lord who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Party | Vote

Lord Elystan-Morgan Crossbenchno
Viscount Montgomery of AlameinCrossbench (front bench)no
Lord Moser Crossbench (front bench)no
Lord Patel of BradfordCrossbenchno

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