Immigration Bill — Removal and Detention of Pregnant Women — 9 May 2016 at 22:38
The majority of MPs voted to only allow the immigration detention of pregnant women if they are about to be removed from the UK, or in exceptional circumstances. The majority of MPs voted against a requirement for pregnant women only to be detained in certain types of accommodation and against a ban on removing pregnant women from the UK.
MPs were considering the Immigration Bill.
The motion supported by the majority of MPs in this vote was:
- That this House does not insist on its amendment 85B in lieu of Lords amendment 85, and agrees to Lords amendment 85C with amendments (a) to (f)
Lords amendment 85 sought to introduce a new clause titled Guidance on detention of vulnerable persons which began:
- (1) No person whom the Secretary of State knows, or could reasonably be expected to know, is pregnant shall be detained.
- (2) The Secretary of State must issue guidance specifying matters to be taken into account by a person to whom the guidance is addressed in determining—
- (a) whether a person (“P”) would be particularly vulnerable to harm if P were to be detained or to remain in detention, and
- (b)if P is identified as being particularly vulnerable to harm in those circumstances, whether P should be detained or remain in detention
Commons amendment 85B sought to instead introduce a new clause titled Limitation on detention of pregnant women limiting the detention of pregnant women to seventy-two hours, or seven days with the personal authorisation of a Secretary of State.
Lords amendment 85C provided for a similar clause to that introduced by amendment 85B but adding: "the over-riding principle that no pregnant woman shall be detained under a relevant detention power save in the most exceptional circumstances."
Amendments (a)-(f) were as follows:
- (a) leave out subsection (1)
This would remove "the over-riding principle that no pregnant woman shall be detained under a relevant detention power save in the most exceptional circumstances", the reference to "exceptional circumstances" was reintroduced in (b) below.
- (b) at end insert—
- ( ) A woman to whom this section applies may not be detained under a relevant detention power unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that—
- (a) the woman will shortly be removed from the United Kingdom, or
- (b) there are exceptional circumstances which justify the detention.
- ( ) In determining whether to authorise the detention under a relevant detention power of a woman to whom this section applies, a person who, apart from this section, has power to authorise the detention must have regard to the woman’s welfare.”
This is self-explanatory.
- (c) Line 15, leave out “earlier” and insert “later”
This has the effect of not starting the 72 hour clock until the Secretary of State is satisfied the woman is pregnant.
- (d) leave out subsection (6)
This omits a requirement for pregnant women only to be detained in certain types of accommodation.
- (e) leave out subsection (13)
This removes a restriction on the removal of pregnant women from the UK.
- (f) leave out subsection (15)
This removed a requirement for the Secretary of State to consult the Independent Family Returns Panel on how best to promote the welfare of a pregnant woman who is to be removed or detained.
-  Parliament's webpage on the Immigration Bill
-  Amendment paper containing Lords amendment 85 and Commons Amendment 85B in lieu
-  Amendment paper containing Commons amendments (a)-(f) to Lords amendment 85C to the Immigration Bill
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.
|Party||Majority (Aye)||Minority (No)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||291 (+2 tell)||1||0||89.1%|
|Lab||0||188 (+2 tell)||0||82.3%|
|Richard Fuller||Bedford||Con (front bench)||no|