To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that it meets its international obligations under the Dublin III regulation.
5 April 2019
The Dublin III Regulation is a long-standing mechanism between EU Member States to determine which single State has responsibility for examining an asylum claim, whilst at the same time recognising family ties as a factor to unite whilst an asylum claim is considered. We will be bound by the Dublin III Regulation as long as we remain a member of the EU; and in the event of a deal, we will continue to meet our obligations under it throughout the Implementation Period.
The Government is fully committed to the timely and efficient operation of the Dublin III Regulation including the family reunification provisions. The UK continues to process requests from other Member States to transfer individuals to the UK to have their asylum claims assessed.
The UK has taken a number of actions to strengthen Dublin processes. As part of the Sandhurst Treaty, signed between the UK and France on 18 January 2018, we agreed a comprehensive package to support unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children. This includes a £3.6 million development fund to support eligible children through the Dublin process and ensures that those without any prospect for transferring to the UK are informed of their options. We have also agreed shorter timescales for the acceptance and transfer of cases under the Dublin process and have deployed a UK asylum liaison officer to France to support this process.
We are working to secure a comprehensive returns agreement with the EU that replaces our obligations under Dublin once we leave the EU, post Implementation Period. Furthermore, as set out in section 17 of the Withdrawal Act, the UK will seek to negotiate an agreement with the EU to continue to provide a legal route for Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children to be reunited with family members in the UK.