Foreign Affairs Committee

Finding a diplomatic route: European responses to irregular migration inquiry

Inquiry status: Concluded

Report published on Monday 4 November 2019. Awaiting Government Response.

Due to the general election on 12 December 2019 the Committee has now closed this inquiry. Following the dissolution of Parliament on 6 November, all Select Committees will cease to exist until after the general election. If an inquiry on this subject is held in the future, the Committee may refer to the evidence already gathered as part of this inquiry.

Report published


In recent years Europe has experienced an influx of irregular migrants greater than at any time since the Second World War. The roots of this run deep, from population growth and climate change in sub-Saharan Africa to chronic conflicts as far afield as Sudan and Afghanistan. The routes used by irregular migrants—and the traffickers that are exploiting them—are equally widespread and difficult to police.

While the consequences of this influx of irregular migrants have been felt across Europe, a collective response has proved elusive, as shown by some European countries’ opposition to the UN Global Compact for Migration. In the light of this failure at the multinational level, this inquiry will explore what the UK is doing at the bilateral level with European partners. It will focus primarily on what the UK, France and Italy are doing to police migration routes and to address the root causes of largescale displacement.

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