Skip to main content

Justice and Home Affairs Council

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the written ministerial statement of 4 December 2008, Official Report, columns 9-11WS, on the Justice and Home Affairs Council, when the Government expects the EU to meet the United Nations Commission on Human Rights target for 10,000 Iraqi refugees to be offered protection in the EU; how many such refugees it is anticipated that (a) the UK and (b) other member states will accommodate; and whether the number that the UK plans to host is in addition to those to whom the Government has already agreed to grant humanitarian protection by virtue of their work for the armed forces. (244311)

It was agreed at the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 27-28 November that EU member states will consider the resettlement of up to 10,000 Iraqi refugees. This target includes those already resettled or who member states have already planned to resettle under current plans. Participation is voluntary.

The UK has committed to resettling 1,000 Iraqi refugees over the course of two years. This number is already planned for by the UK and includes the 600 Iraqis that the UK Government have agreed to resettle because they worked for the British forces or Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Iraq, where they meet the established resettlement criteria. The UK will not be in a position to provide additional spaces to this.

European Union member states will be asked to make their intentions on resettlement of Iraqi refugees clear in the near future. To date, it is not known how many Iraqi refugees other member states will resettle.