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Volume 477: debated on Monday 16 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her policy is on deporting citizens of other EU member states; in what circumstances are such citizens deported from the UK; and how many deportations have taken place in the last 12 months. (210397)

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. Any European Economic Area national who has committed a crime in the UK and received a recommendation for deportation at the time of sentencing or received a custodial sentence of 24 months or more will be considered for deportation action. The UK Border Agency will continue to take a robust approach in considering and, where international obligations allow, pursuing the deportation of EEA nationals.

The Agency deported or removed a record 4,200 foreign national prisoners in 2007. It continues to deport increasing numbers of EEA nationals who have committed crimes within the UK, having deported or removed over 500 last year.