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House of Commons Hansard
15 December 2016
Volume 618
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The Government have decided to opt in to the EU proposal for the EURODAC III regulation.

The regulation will govern the operation of the EURODAC fingerprint database, which holds the fingerprints of asylum seekers and certain illegal entrants to the EU, in order to help member states determine who is responsible under the Dublin regulation for dealing with an asylum claim and to tackle illegal migration.

The EURODAC database will be expanded to increase the categories of fingerprints recorded, to record facial images and biographical data, to increase the length of time data can be stored to five years and to provide better data-sharing procedures between member states. These changes will strengthen the UK’s ability to control illegal migration, prevent multiple asylum applications across member states and protect the UK’s security through data sharing with law enforcement agencies.

Until the UK leaves the EU it remains a full member, and the Government will continue to consider the application of the UK’s right to opt in to forthcoming EU legislation in the area of justice and home affairs on a case-by-case basis, with a view to maximising our security, protecting our civil liberties and enhancing our ability to control immigration.