The Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules that I laid before the House on 13 June has come into effect today. It introduces clear new rules to protect the public from foreign criminals who try to hide behind family life as a reason to stay here. In respect of the most serious offenders, only in exceptional cases will the public interest in deportation be outweighed by other factors.
Notwithstanding the excellent work that my right hon. Friend has done, does she not agree that the only real solution to the problem is to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998? Given that it is our Liberal friends who are blocking such action, may I, in the privacy of the Chamber, suggest this course of action to her? Why do we not all vote against House of Lords reform tomorrow, and end the sad, unmourned life of the coalition? Then we can have a general election and a Conservative Government, and we can repeal this hopeless Act.
I am not entirely sure where my hon. Friend was going in linking the House of Lords with deportations, but I do not share the opinion that he has expressed. Personally, I shall be voting in favour of House of Lords reform, as I have done previously. As for the Human Rights Act, I have made my views known publicly on a number of occasions. What the Government are doing, crucially, is taking action to ensure that we can set out the criteria for article 8 so that fewer foreign criminals will be able to call on it in order to stay in this country.