Brexit: refugee protection and asylum policy Contents
Appendix 3: Call for evidence
The House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee, chaired by Lord Jay of Ewelme, has launched an inquiry into the UK’s future relationship with the EU on asylum cooperation. The inquiry will focus on the impact of Brexit on current UK-EU asylum cooperation, as well as possible models for future cooperation and the impact this could have on asylum seekers interacting with any future system.
This is a public call for written evidence to be submitted to the Committee. The deadline is Friday 24 May. The Committee values diversity and seeks to ensure this wherever possible. Guidance on how to submit evidence is set out later in this document, but if you have any questions or require adjustments to enable you to respond, please contact the staff of the Committee. We look forward to hearing from a range of interested individuals and organisations.
The opportunity that leaving the EU offers the UK to control immigration and secure its borders was referenced throughout the 2016 referendum debate and has been a central element of the Government’s Brexit policy. It has been suggested, however, that without an agreement to replace current UK-EU asylum cooperation the UK may in fact find it more difficult to manage asylum flows.
The Government’s Immigration White Paper indicates that it intends to negotiate a new legal framework to return “illegal migrants, including asylum seekers, to EU countries they have travelled through or have a connection with, to have their protection claim considered”. To date there has been limited discussion between the UK and EU on the form this framework might take. The EU has not published any position on the future framework of asylum cooperation.
UK-EU asylum cooperation is complex, with the UK opting into some aspects of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and not others. The Committee has examined briefly two parts of CEAS: the Dublin Regulation and EURODAC.
This inquiry intends to look at the UK’s relationship with CEAS in more depth, and to examine what type of agreement the UK should seek with the EU on future asylum cooperation, including:
- the Dublin III Regulation and proposed Dublin IV
- Standards of protection and assistance in the UK and EU
- the Immigration Liaison Officer network
- Readmission agreements with third countries
- the EU Asylum and Migration Fund
The Committee is seeking evidence on the following questions. Submissions need not address all questions.
- What form should future UK-EU asylum cooperation take? What will be the key factors which determine the nature and extent of this relationship?
- How relevant are existing models of cooperation on asylum between the EU and third countries, such as Norway, to the UK situation? How important is participation in Schengen and the Single Market in facilitating this cooperation?
- Do you think that minimum standards of protection, assistance, and future alignment in qualification for international protection should or will be important factors in negotiating a new legal framework for future UK-EU asylum cooperation?
- What is your assessment of the success of CEAS, in particular the Dublin system? Has it achieved its aims?
- How has EU asylum law influenced the UK? Has the UK “levelled up” to EU standards, or vice versa?
- What is the likelihood that the UK will continue to be able to access EURODAC after Brexit, both for asylum and law enforcement purposes? What would be the implications for the UK if it could not access EURODAC for either of these purposes?
- What is your opinion on the Government’s policy on family unification for asylum seekers?
- What systems and service should be in place to meet the needs of children seeking asylum, especially unaccompanied asylum-seeking children?
- What is your view on the extent to which rights of asylum seekers in the UK will be upheld and protected after Brexit?
- What might the UK’s participation in the EU’s Immigration Liaison Officer network look like after Brexit and what impact that could that have on asylum cooperation?
- After Brexit, the UK will need to negotiate new bilateral agreements with some third countries to facilitate the return of irregularly staying migrants to their country of origin. Do you have any concerns about the UK negotiating these agreements?
- How might the UK continue to participate in the EU’s Asylum and Migration Fund as a third country after Brexit?
- What is your assessment of the role the UK has played in providing global leadership and support in tackling key migration challenges?
- How does the UK cooperate with other countries on asylum matters through bilateral and (non-EU) international channels? Should the UK seek to enhance this cooperation after Brexit?
- How important will the UK-France relationship be in managing migration flows? What impact might Brexit have on this?