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Monday, 4 November 2013

Plan for temporary migrants to pay £3,000 bond has been stopped by Clegg

A plan for a £3,000 bond to deter illegal immigrants has been dropped, after it was vetoed by Nick Clegg, the Home Office confirmed last night.

Under the proposals that was to be tested later this month, temporary migrants from high-risk countries – such as Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Ghana – would have paid a bond before coming to Britain, and have it seized if they failed to leave when their six -month visa expired.

In a speech in March, Mr Clegg tried to take credit for the idea but later disowned it. He also threatened to block the scheme if bonds were applied in an ‘indiscriminate way’.


Business Secretary Vince Cable had suggested the policy could be used as a way of allowing in visitors who had been refused a visa. Home Secretary Theresa May ridiculed the Liberal Democrats' stance on immigration bonds at the tory conference party speech.

Lib Dem sources said the policy was ‘not acceptable to the Liberal Democrats and was not supported by other government departments.’

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The Government has been considering whether we pilot a bond scheme that would deter people from overstaying the visa. We have decided not to proceed.’  Labour MP Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, described the scheme as ‘unfair and discriminatory’.


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