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Justice: Sharia Law

Volume 711: debated on Wednesday 17 June 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the answer by Lord Bach on 4 June (Official Report, House of Lords, col. 296), whether they will take steps to ensure that resident Muslim men cannot bring their second, third or fourth wives, together with their children, to live in the United Kingdom and to draw benefits. [HL4145]

It is government policy to prevent the formation of polygamous households in this country. Entry clearance or leave to enter or remain is refused if the applicant's spouse has another spouse living who is, or at any time since their marriage has been, in the UK, or who has been granted a certificate of entitlement in respect of right of abode under Section 2(1)(a) of the Immigration Act 1988, or who has been granted entry clearance to enter the UK on the basis of their marriage.

There are certain exceptions to this general restriction: a spouse who seeks leave to entry or remain if he/she has been in the UK before one August 1988, having been admitted on the basis of his/her marriage; or, if he/she has, since his/her marriage, been in the UK at any time when there was no such other spouse living. At the present time we see no firm evidence that further legislation and/or other restrictions, on top of the existing tight restrictions, are necessary.