Today MPs will be debating and voting on the Immigration Bill, which sets out plans for the immigration system after Brexit.

How it works

In Committee stage, which finished last week, a group of MPs went through the Bill line by line, making amendments. Today the updated Bill returns to the Commons, where MPs will debate further changes, before voting on the Bill in its entirety. 

You can watch the debate live (starting between 2 - 2.30pm) on Parliament TV, and follow us on Twitter for the latest updates. And you can find the full detail of the amendments in our briefing to MPs, here.

The changes we want to see

1. Lift the "No Recourse to Public Funds" rule which leaves migrants with nothing. 

No one should be left without support - particularly in this pandemic. Rules that bar migrants from basic support like Universal Credit leave many facing abject poverty - around 1.4m people in the UK are affected by the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) condition. NRPF must be scrapped – just like Boris Johnson promised.

What to watch for: Amendments are being put forward by Keir Starmer MP and Stuart McDonald MP that would suspend, or even better, end the NRPF rule. 

2. Guarantee EU nationals' rights after Brexit.

The Government is putting thousands of EU nationals at risk of facing the brutality of the Hostile Environment. It must guarantee the rights of all by amending the "Settled Status" scheme so no one has to apply for the right to carry on living in their own home, and issuing physical documentation as proof of pre-Settled or Settled Status. 

What to watch for: Christine Jardine MP and Stuart McDonald MP are both putting forward amendments on the scheme. Tim Loughton MP has put forward proposals to protect EEA and Swiss national children in care in the UK.

3. A time limit on immigration detention.

The UK is the only country in Europe where migrants can be locked up with no release date. Immigration detention is traumatic and does lasting damage to those affected. More than half of those detained are released to the community, their detention having served no purpose.

What to watch for: David Davis MP is putting forward an amendment which would introduce a 28-day time limit on detention, a welcome step in the right direction. Before the debate begins, you can ask your MP to support the amendment via Detention Action. 

4. An end to the Hostile Environment.

We want to see the Hostile Environment scrapped. It blocks migrants from accessing healthcare and deters people from using public services. This set of policies is inhumane, increases racial discrimination and makes us all less safe.

What to watch for: Stuart McDonald MP, Yvette Cooper MP and Christine Jardine MP are all putting forward changes that would end or curb the Hostile Environment. 

We hope to see an end to data sharing, a key enabler of the Hostile Environment - where doctors, for example, are forced to share patient data with immigration officials, who may then detain and deport people based on that information. This is the cruelty of the immigration system, and damages the relationship between public sector workers like doctors and police officers and those they are trying to help. 

What to watch for: Stuart McDonald MP and Christine Jardine MP are both proposing changes on this. 

5. Ensuring families can be together.

No family should be kept apart simply because of what they earn. But the Minimum Income Requirement puts a price on love, saying that those who earn £18,600 or less do not deserve the right to live with family from outside the EU. The Government has made minimal effort to support families affected by this rule during the pandemic, but there is still time to make changes. 

What to watch for: A new amendment is being brought by Stuart McDonald MP which would protect EEA nationals from this rule after the Brexit transition period ends.

The Government's plans for exiting the EU would put an end to the rights of refugees to be joined in the UK by their family members. It is simply inhumane to cut off people who have fled violence and persecution from their loved ones.

What to watch for: an amendment is being put forward by Yvette Cooper MP, and you can write to your MP via Safe Passage, to ask them to support it, up until the debate begins.

What happens next?

After the vote on Tuesday, the Bill will go to the House of Lords for further scrutiny and debate.


Join the campaign for justice for migrants