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Amsterdam Treaty (Asylum Seekers)

Volume 301: debated on Thursday 27 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the implications of the Amsterdam Treaty for future asylum seekers from within the European Union; and for what reason his Department did not seek an exemption from the Asylum Protocol similar to that acquired by Belgium. [17217]

The Asylum Protocol to the Amsterdam Treaty will require that member states treat asylum applications from European Union nationals as either inadmissible or against a presumption that they are manifestly unfounded. Belgium has made a declaratory statement to the effect that it will apply the latter approach. This is not an exemption from the Protocol. There was no need for the United Kingdom to make a similar declaration. In accordance with United Kingdom asylum law, we will continue to give individual consideration to asylum applications from European Union nationals.