Controversial plans to prevent immigrants from accessing public services free of charge cleared their first hurdle in the House of Commons tonight.
MPs overwhelmingly agreed by 303 votes to 18 to give the government’s Immigration Bill a second reading.
The legislation will now go in to committee for further scrutiny. MPs will also have the chance to amend the bill.
Detailing the measures in the Bill, Home Secretary Theresa May said: “It is unacceptable that hard-working taxpayers have to compete with people who have no right to be here. This bill will begin to address these absurdities and restore the balance.”
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said Labour supported the Bill, telling MPs the measures contained within the legislation were “sensible”.
The vote followed news that a scheme which saw vans carrying billboards around London telling immigrants to “go home or face arrest” would be ditched by the UK government.
Ms May admitted that the advertisements were “too much of a blunt instrument”.