Documents to download

This government bill has nine clauses and three schedules. The bill’s two main purposes are: 

  • to repeal retained EU law on free movement to bring EU, EEA EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Swiss citizens within a single UK immigration system (part 1 and schedule 1); and
  • to provide a power to amend, via regulations, retained EU law governing social security coordination (part 2 and schedules 2 and 3).

The bill would also confirm the existing rights of Irish citizens following the ending of freedom of movement. Ending freedom of movement was a Conservative Party manifesto commitment at the 2019 general election.

The bill was not amended during its committee stage in the House of Commons. At report stage, the House of Commons agreed to the Government’s amendments to the bill. These amendments narrowed the bill’s delegated powers to change social security coordination legislation in areas of devolved competence. They were made as a result of the Scottish Government’s decision not to support a legislative consent motion for the bill. Four non-government amendments were defeated on division. These were on the following subjects:

  • Providing for an independent review of the bill’s impact on, for example, the health and social care workforce and the adequacy of public funding for the sectors.
  • Limiting immigration detention to a period of no longer than 28 days.
  • Delaying the application of ‘no recourse to public funds’ conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic until Parliament decided to reinstate them.
  • Ensuring that an unaccompanied child, spouse or vulnerable or dependant adult who has a family member who is legally present in the UK would continue to have the same rights to family reunion as they would have had under Regulation (EU) No 604/2013.

The bill passed third reading in the Commons by 342 votes to 248.

Documents to download

Related posts

  • Windrush scandal and compensation scheme

    The Windrush generation refers to individuals who migrated to the UK from Commonwealth countries between 1948 and 1973. Despite legal entitlement to stay, many faced job losses, denial of services and removal. In 2018, the then government acknowledged their mistreatment and introduced measures including the creation of a compensation scheme for those affected. However, several reviews have raised concerns about the accessibility and effectiveness of the scheme to date.

    Windrush scandal and compensation scheme
  • Poverty in the UK: Government policy

    There were approximately 11 million people in the UK in relative poverty (before housing costs) in 2021/22. Many people on low incomes receive cash benefits, such as universal credit, and other benefits such as free school meals. In its levelling up strategy the government set out measures to address poverty; these include increasing the number of high-paying jobs and improving access to good quality education and skills training.

    Poverty in the UK: Government policy
  • Windsor Framework: Command paper and regulations

    On 31 January 2024, the government published a command paper on ‘Safeguarding the union’ and accompanying draft secondary legislation, seeking to address concerns about Northern Ireland’s place in the union and arrangements for the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Following negotiations with the DUP, this is intended as a step towards restoring the Northern Ireland executive.

    Windsor Framework: Command paper and regulations