Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the date on which he will publish a new Bill regarding immigration. [39330/12]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Work on the details of the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2010 is ongoing at my Department pursuant to current Government policy which is committed, under the Programme for National Recovery, to “introduce comprehensive reforms of the immigration, residency and asylum systems, which will include a statutory appeals system and set out rights and obligations in a transparent way”. As I have outlined previously to the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence, several hundred amendments are anticipated, the majority of a technical nature. At the Joint Committee I also expressed the considered view that instead of engaging in an extremely cumbersome process of tabling hundreds of amendments to the 2010 Bill it would be much more efficient to publish a new and enhanced one that would incorporate the anticipated amendments while addressing key outstanding issues several of which have been of previous concern to Members. This proposition was broadly welcomed by the Joint Committee which I very much appreciate given the protracted history of this piece of legislation. Work on the Bill will continue therefore, including in cooperation with the Offices of Parliamentary Counsel and of the Attorney General. It remains my objective under this new approach, and mindful of the competing legislative demands of our EU/IMF/ECB Programme commitments, to be in a position to bring the new Bill to Government for approval and publication later this year.