Lord Dubs and refugee charities to discuss UK asylum policy and future cooperation with the EU
The House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee will hold its first evidence sessions for its new inquiry investigating UK-EU asylum cooperation after Brexit on Wednesday 12th June. The Committee will hear from three organisations which support refugees and those seeking asylum: the British Red Cross, Safe Passage UK and the Refugee Council. Lord Alf Dubs – a leading campaigner for refugee rights and resettlement and support for unaccompanied refugee children – will also give evidence.
The UK currently opts into some aspects of the EU's Common European Asylum System (CEAS), such as Dublin III and EURODAC, but not others. As things stand, the mechanisms underpinning UK-EU asylum cooperation will come to an end at the end of any transition period, or in October 2019 in a ‘no deal' Brexit scenario.
The White Paper on the future UK-EU relationship set out the Government's ambition to establish a new, strategic relationship with the EU to address the global challenges of asylum and illegal migration. The Government is also specifically bound by section 17 of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 to seek an agreement with the EU on family reunification for unaccompanied migrant children.
The first evidence session will begin at 10.40am in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords. The Committee will question:
- Judith Dennis, Policy Manager, Refugee Council
- Jon Featonby, Policy and Advocacy Manager, British Red Cross
The second session will begin at 11.30am and the Committee will question:
- Lord Alf Dubs
- Eleanor Harrison OBE, CEO, Safe Passage
Topics likely to be covered across both sessions include:
- UK refugee policy, in particular, UK policy on family reunification and the relocation of unaccompanied refugee children under the ‘Dubs amendment' and other resettlement schemes
- How important EU asylum policy is to protecting the rights of refugees/asylum seekers in the UK compared to other international legal instruments, such as the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Refugee Convention
- The impact Brexit could have on UK-France border cooperation and managing migratory flows in Calais
- What elements of the CEAS, or EU asylum policy and standards, witnesses would like to see reflected in the UK in the future
- Trends on attitudes to migration in Europe that could impact any future UK-EU cooperation on asylum