To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress has been made toward securing the future of family reunion routes in negotiations with the EU; and whether the UK will continue to apply the Dublin III Regulation if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
7 October 2019
If the UK leaves the EU with a deal we will continue to participate in the Dublin III Regulation, under which unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the EU currently reunite with family members in other EU Member States, during the implementation period.
The UK would cease participating in the Dublin III Regulation immediately if we were to leave the EU without a deal. However, the Immigration, Nationality and Asylum (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 makes a ‘saving’ such that any Dublin family reunion cases which have entered the system prior to exit day will continue to be processed in a no deal situation.
We want a close future partnership to tackle the shared challenges on asylum and illegal migration. Section 17 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 commits the Government to seek to negotiate an agreement with the EU which allows for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the EU to join family members lawfully present in the UK, where it is in their best interests. This commitment stands whether we leave the EU with or without a deal. Effecting transfers relies on an agreement being in place and we endeavour to negotiate such an agreement as soon as possible.
In either a deal or no deal scenario, children will still be able to apply to join family members in the UK who benefit from international protection under the UK’s refugee family reunion provisions under the Immigration Rules.