Bath MP Wera Hobhouse has called out the Government’s failure to negotiate a successor to the Dublin Agreement, in the midst of criticism from both sides of the aisle as the number of people fleeing and attempting to cross the Channel reaches record numbers.
Mrs Hobhouse criticised the Government for failing to negotiate a successor agreement to the Dublin Agreement which determines which EU Member State is responsible for the examination of an application for asylum.
The Dublin III Regulation previously allowed the UK to return migrants to other EU countries in certain circumstances. It also allows EU countries to transfer asylum seekers back to the first member state they were proven to have entered - an agreement that the UK left after Brexit. It was reported recently that just five migrants returned to Europe this year.
The agreement uses a hierarchy of criteria to determine the Member State responsible for determining an asylum application. The criteria includes family unity, possession of residence documents or visas, irregular entry or stay, and visa-waived entry.
Wera made the speech during an Urgent Question on Channel crossings in small boats. The Government has launched a review into how to prevent boats from crossing the 21-mile stretch of water from Calais. Earlier this month, over 1,000 people tried to cross on a single day.
Speaking after her intervention in Parliament, Bath MP Wera Hobhouse, who campaigned against Brexit, said:
“Dealing with illegal immigration was far more effective whilst we were in the European Union. The Government has failed to negotiate a successor to the Dublin Agreement which determines which country examines asylum applications.
“The way the Government deals with desperate people crossing the channel is unacceptable. Clearly they haven’t got to grips with illegal immigration.
“Priti Patel has no plan for how to stop dangerous Channel crossings; instead she keeps recycling the same old nonsense about somehow sending asylum seekers to Albania. The UK has a proud history of providing sanctuary to refugees and those in need. We can’t turn our backs on them and simply make them Albania’s, or anyone else’s, problem.”