[holding answer 13 May 2008]: We have made it perfectly clear that our objective is that foreign national prisoners should face deportation when they meet the relevant criteria and that deportation should happen as early as possible in their sentence. Over 4,200 foreign national prisoners have been removed or deported from the UK in 2007. This means that the UK Border Agency has removed over 80 per cent. more foreign national prisoners than in 2006.
From this summer the agency will begin commencement of the automatic deportation provisions contained in the UK Borders Act 2007. The Act places a duty on the Secretary of State to make a deportation order in respect of a non-European economic area national who has been sentenced to either a period of imprisonment of at least 12 months or a period of imprisonment of any length for a particularly serious offence, as listed under section 72 of the Nationality and Asylum Act, 2002). The provisions enable the agency to speed up the removals process by ensuring that unless the foreign criminal has an arguable asylum or human rights claim, they will only have a right of appeal from outside the UK.