Listeners to the Free Movement podcast may have heard us mention the Immigration Bill on the last episode. The second reading was scheduled for 21 April, and we thought (and said) that it would go ahead remotely despite the coronavirus disruption. In the event, that didn’t happen — but the bill was very much paused rather than pulled, and the second reading has now be set for Monday 18 May.
The second reading is when MPs have their first chance to properly debate the principle of a draft law. The Immigration Bill would put an end to EU free movement rights — although existing residents are largely protected by the EU Settlement Scheme — and is expected to pass easily given the government’s large majority in the House of Commons.
The bill’s full title is the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill 2019-21. The House of Commons Library has put together a useful briefing about it.