Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when the policy known as BRACE was introduced; [161130]

    (2) when Ministers authorised the treatment of work permit applications under BRACE; [161131]
    (3) to which categories of entry applicants BRACE originally applied; and when it was extended to applicants under European Community Association agreements. [161132]

    Mr. Browne [holding answer 12 March 2004]: BRACE was applied to backlogs of general casework applications submitted by people who were already in the United Kingdom and who had already been pre-cleared at a visa issuing office overseas or examined by an immigration officer at port. These would have included backlogs of in-country applications under the European Community Association Agreements. BRACE did not extend to work permit applications. As regards the date of introduction and the authorisation of the guidance, I refer the right hon. Member to the note entitled “Summary of longstanding practice in Managing Longstanding Immigration Backlogs” placed in the Library on 29 March.

    19 April 2004 Column 91W