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Government attempt to simplify immigration rules fails to make it more accessible

9 November 2020

The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has taken issue with the complexity and volume of the Government’s latest Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules.

The Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 813) is 507 pages in total and has an Explanatory Memorandum 50 pages long.

In its Report, the Committee reiterates concerns it raised last year when reporting on certain EU Exit instruments – that large, wide-ranging instruments are too difficult to scrutinise properly and maintains the view that “combining so many policy areas in one very large instrument is wholly unjustified”.

The Committee acknowledges that the Home Office’s objective, to provide a simpler set of Immigration Rules, is a worthwhile one. However, during this transitional phase the instrument “ignores a key criterion of the Government’s definition of “good law” by making it less accessible to the citizen.

The report concludes by suggesting the House should press the Minister to explain why this approach was taken and why it would not have been possible to deal with the issues in a series of themed instruments.