The Government have decided to opt in to the draft Council decision concerning the conclusion of the agreement between the European Union and Turkey on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation (European Union Document No. 11743/12, COM(12) 239).
The readmission agreement will formalise reciprocal arrangements to document and remove illegal entrants from the EU and Turkey. After three years it will also apply to third-country nationals who have passed through the territory of individual member states and Turkey, where efforts have first been made to return the migrant directly to his or her country of origin.
The Government welcome the readmission agreement, which we believe will be valuable in easing the pressures on our border and form an important part of broader co-operation with Turkey on a wide range of justice and home affairs matters.
The agreement will help tackle the flow of illegal migration to the UK by making sure that every country in the EU has good arrangements for returns, so that would-be illegal entrants are removed before they reach our border. Participating in the agreement also makes clear the Government’s intention to stay active in addressing a range of strategic interests that the EU and Turkey share. They include not just migration, but tackling terrorism and transnational organised crime, and promoting judicial co-operation in civil and criminal matters.