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Asylum Seekers

Volume 404: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2003

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To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his oral answer of 29 January 2003, Official Report, column 875, on reducing the number of asylum applications, whether the Government have decided fundamentally to look at the UK's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. [111423]

As I said in the House on 29 January 2003, if measures that we have introduced do not dramatically reduce the number of asylum applications, we are prepared to go further, including fundamentally looking at our obligations under the European convention on human rights. I remain confident that current measures will halve the intake by September 2003.We also continue to work with the UNHCR and others to make the Refugee Convention operate more effectively. The Home Secretary presented the United Kingdom's ideas for new international approaches to asylum processing and refugee protection to his EU counterparts on 28 March 2003. This international work is complemented by domestic measures which provide protection to those who need it but deal robustly with abusive claims.