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Written Answers

Volume 693: debated on Wednesday 27 June 2007

Written Answers

Wednesday 27 June 2007

British Citizenship

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Why, having regard to Section 7 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, the British consulate-general in Hong Kong is advising refused applicants for British citizenship that “there is no right of appeal against this decision”; and why applicants cannot apply to have such a decision judicially reviewed. [HL4374]

The British Nationality Act 1981, as originally drafted, specified that the decision of the Secretary of State, or a Governor or Lieutenant-Governor, to grant or refuse an application for citizenship should not be subject to appeal or review in any court. This provision was removed by the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. There is, however, no formal appeal process for refused citizenship applications, although it has been the Border and Immigration Agency’s practice for many years to consider representations against refusal in order to assist applicants better to understand why they have been refused and to ensure that flawed refusal decisions are quickly remedied. The option to apply for judicial review of a decision has always been available. The Border and Immigration Agency is reviewing the wording that is currently used in its standard refusal letters.

Crime: Fuel Laundering

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

How much revenue has been lost as a result of fuel laundering and smuggling in County Armagh in each year since 2000. [HL4496]

Estimates of the revenue lost through the illegal consumption of diesel and petrol in County Armagh, or indeed Northern Ireland, are not available because it is not yet possible to split revenue losses between those resulting from the illicit market and those from legitimate cross-border shopping. However, estimates of the total non-UK duty paid consumption for Northern Ireland are available and are reported in Measuring Indirect Tax Losses2006, which is published alongside the PBR and can be found in the Library of the House.

Housing: Home Information Packs

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

What has been the cost to date of preparing for the introduction of home information packs. [HL4037]

I refer the noble Baroness to the Answer given by my honourable friend the Minister for Housing and Planning (Yvette Cooper) on 13 March 2007 (Official Report, col. 239W). Since then, an additional £8,076,466 has been spent on the programme.

Iran: HMS “Cornwall”

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Further to the Statement by Lord Drayson on 19 June, how the Government can disseminate lessons learnt from the Fulton report to coalition partners when the report is classified as “Secret—UK eyes only”. [HL4413]

Iraq: Refugees

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

What assessment they have made of the view expressed by the Government of Sweden that the Iraqi refugee crisis could be solved in part by the use of “pooled resettlement capacity” in the European Union; and what steps have been taken to resettle Iraqi refugees in the United Kingdom through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. [HL4439]

The UK has noted the proposal put forward by Sweden in respect of resettlement of Iraqi refugees. There is no co-ordinated EU-wide resettlement programme in place at the present time. We consider that it is up to each individual EU member state to determine what places (if any) it can make available. The UK is one of six EU member states that have a domestic resettlement programme.

All resettlement places for 2007 have been allocated. The Home Office is in discussion with the UNHCR about the feasibility of including a group of Iraqi refugees for resettlement within our 2008 gateway programme.

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

How many Iraqi asylum seekers have been granted (a) asylum, and (b) leave to remain in the United Kingdom each year since 2003, and how these figures compare with those of other European Union nations. [HL4440]

The tables attached show grants of asylum and subsidiary decisions for nationals of Iraq at initial decision and appeal for each year from 2003 to 2006. Other European nations’ asylum decision data are not collated by Immigration Research and Statistics and would involve disproportionate cost to extract from other sources.

Information on asylum decisions is published quarterly and annually. Copies of these publications are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.htm1.

Initial decisions (1) (2) on asylum applications, 2003-06, nationals of Iraq

Principal applicants

Iraq

Decisions

 

Total decisions

Grants of asylum

Grants of ELR

Grants of HP(3)

Grants of DL(3)

Total refusals

2003

6,805

70

2,105

*

45

4,580

2004

4,815

10

n/a

185

4,615

2005

1,835

5

n/a

10

150

1,675

2006 (P)

730

30

n/a

60

640

(1) Figures rounded to nearest 5, with * = 1 or 2.

(2) Information is of initial determination decisions, excluding the outcome of appeals or other subsequent decisions.

(3) Humanitarian protection and discretionary leave replaced exceptional leave to remain from 1 April 2003.

(P) Provisional figures.

n/a: not applicable.

Appeals outcomes determined by the Immigration Appellate Authority/Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (1)(2)

Principal appellants

Appeals determined (3)

Iraq

Allowed (5)

Dismissed (5)

Withdrawn (5)(6)

Total determined (4)

Total

As % of determined

Total

As % of determined

Total

As % of determined

2003

5,400

490

9%

4,435

82%

475

9%

2004

6,645

275

4%

6,210

93%

160

2%

2005

2,845

160

6%

2,585

91%

100

3%

2006 (P)

755

115

15%

600

79%

40

5%

(1) Figures rounded to nearest 5 (except percentages), with * = 1 or 2. Figures may not add up due to independent rounding.

(2) The AIT was formed on 4 April 2005 and replaced the IAA.

(3) All figures for appeals determined are cases dealt with by adjudicators/immigration judges.

(4) Based on information supplied by the Ministry of Justice. Determinations do not necessarily relate to appeals received in the same period.

(5) Pre-4 April 2005 based on data supplied from the Presenting Officers Unit within the Home Office; 4 April 2005 onwards based on immigration and nationality electronic sources.

(6) Figures include cases withdrawn by the Home Office, as well as the appellant.

(P) Provisional figures.

Passports

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Under what circumstances a person who makes a valid application for a British passport, which is refused, is not given written reasons for such refusal. [HL4431]

In circumstances where a person’s identity and British nationality are not in doubt but a passport is formally refused, it is the normal practice of the Identity and Passport Service to state the reasons in writing.

Shipping: Ferry Operators

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Which ferry operators and routes across the southern North Sea and Dover Straits offer services for (a) roll-on roll-off freight; (b) unaccompanied trailers; and (c) unaccompanied swap bodies or containers; and how many daily services each provide for these categories of freight. [HL4406]

Information about individual ferry operators is provided to the department in confidence and cannot be disclosed. The available information for the ferry routes covering the regions requested is provided in the following table.

Selected international UK ferry routes in 2006 by type of cargo carried (excludes passenger-only services and services with very small amounts of units/tonnage)

Route

Lorry

Unaccompanied trailer

Port-to-port trailer/container

General cargo

Average monthly ferry sailings1

Dartford-Vlissingen

v

v

v

60

Dartford-Zeebrugge

v

v

v

92

Dover-Calais

v

v

2,948

Dover-Dunkirk

v

v

613

Felixstowe-Scheveningen

v

v

171

Felixstowe-Zeebrugge

v

N/A

Harwich-Bremerhaven

v

v

v

N/A

Harwich-Cuxhaven

v

v

v

N/A

Harwich-Esbjerg

v

v

v

27

Harwich-Hook of Holland

v

v

224

Harwich-Rotterdam

v

v

v

141

Harwich-Turku

v

v

v

v

2

Hull-Helsinki

v

v

v

N/A

Hull-Rotterdam

v

v

v

82

Hull-Zeebrugge

v

v

v

82

Immingham-Cuxhaven

v

v

v

47

Immingham-Esbjerg

v

v

v

51

Immingham-Gothenburg

v

v

v

57

Immingham-Ostend

v

v

v

63

Immingham-Rotterdam

v

v

v

52

Ipswich-Ostend

v

v

v

132

Killingholme-Hook of Holland

v

v

60

Killingholme-Ostend

v

v

17

Killingholme-Rotterdam

v

v

v

52

Killingholme-Zeebrugge

v

v

v

53

Newhaven-Dieppe

v

v

165

Purfleet-Esbjerg

v

N/A

Purfleet-Rotterdam

v

v

v

55

Purfleet-Zeebrugge

v

v

v

130

Ramsgate-Ostend

v

v

421

Tilbury-Gothenburg

v

v

v

N/A

Tilbury-Ostend

v

v

v

31

1 Sailings include inward and outward movements.

St Andrews Agreement

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Whether they consider the 2006 St Andrews agreement to be an international agreement; and whether they will publish the agreement as supported by all parties in Northern Ireland. [HL4444]

The 2006 St Andrews agreement was published jointly at St Andrews on 13 October 2006 by the British and Irish Governments. The practical changes to the 1998 Belfast agreement institutions as envisaged by the 2006 St Andrews agreement have been formalised by the intergovernmental agreement between the Irish Government and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Cm 7078), which came into force on 9 May 2007 following the restoration of devolution.

Universities: Scotland

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Whether a British passport holder domiciled in another European Union member state qualifies for university education in Scotland without payment of fees. [HL4447]