§ Mr. Chope
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to permit airlines to refuse to accept passengers who are being deported or removed by order of the Government where such passengers cause disruption and distress to others; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Beverley Hughes
[holding answer 6 March 2003]: It is the individual responsibility of the captain of an aircraft to have regard to the safety of all persons onboard and to refuse to accept passengers who may be a potential danger to the safety of the aircraft. Whilst the carrier has an obligation to accept removal directions lawfully given under the Immigration Act 1971 and the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, the legislation provides the defence of "reasonable excuse" for failure to comply with such directions.