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Eu (Immigration And Asylum)

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 26 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in what ways Her Majesty's Government will be able to influence policy making in the European Union in respect of immigration and asylum matters. [16499]

I have been asked to reply.The United Kingdom participates fully in the intergovernmental co-operation on immigration and asylum policy provided for in the Treaty on the European Union. We shall use the opportunity of the United Kingdom's presidency of the European Union, in the first half of 1998, to carry forward that co-operation. Future co-operation on immigration and asylum policy will, as a result of the Amsterdam Treaty, be taken forward in the First Pillar; the Government have secured a Protocol which enables us to opt into such co-operation. We shall seek to do so where it is in our national interest.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy that individual consideration will be given to all asylum applications made by European Union nationals. [16491]

I have been asked to reply.The 1951 United Nations Convention requires that we consider applications for asylum individually, irrespective of where they come from and we will comply with that obligation.