The House of Lords had earlier passed a number of amendments to this Government’s Bill. On April 26 the House of Commons sent them back with various reasons for rejection.
Lord Alton of Liverpool moved a compromise amendment to allow asylum-applicants to take jobs, if their cases were still outstanding after nine months. This was carried by a margin of 60 votes.
Lord Ramsbotham asked the House to insist on his original amendment that Immigration Detainees might not be held for longer than 28 days without the approval of a judicial tribunal. This was approved by a majority of 65 votes.
Baroness Lister of Burtersett moved an amendment to prevent pregnant women being detained for more than 72 hours, or at most 7 days if the Secretary of State ordered a longer period. Her majority was 56 votes.
Lord Dubs had an amendment calling for the admission to Britain of a proportionate number of unaccompanied refugee children now in Europe. The exact number would be decided by the Secretary of State after consulting with the Local Authorities. Lord Dubs had himself come to England as a child on the “kindertransport” from Nazi Germany. He gained a majority of 107.
Lord Hylton had previously carried an amendment allowing non-EU domestic workers on tied visas to change employers. This was rejected by the Commons. The Government in the House of Commons rejected the recommendations of the Ewins Review, which they had commissioned. Instead they followed the advice of the Anti-Slavery Commissioner. On this occasion Lord Hylton got positive answers from the Government about rights to work while cases are pending, and about the repatriation of domestic workers, if their cases are rejected by the National Referral Mechanism.
It remains to be seen whether the Commons will again reject the four amendments on which the Lords voted.