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House of Commons Hansard
European Union Opt in Decision: EU Readmission Agreement with Nigeria
16 December 2016
Volume 618
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The Government have decided not to opt in to a Council Decision (11975/16/16) authorising the opening of negotiations on an agreement between the European Union and Nigeria on readmission.

EU readmission agreements (EURAs) ensure reciprocal procedures for the identification, documentation and return of persons illegally entering or remaining in EU member states, or the third country. We decide whether to participate in EURAs on a case-by-case basis, depending on the priority we attach to the country concerned in terms of numbers of immigration returns and the degree to which we enjoy a good bilateral relationship with that country.

In terms of returns co-operation, the UK already has bilateral arrangements with Nigeria via a memorandum of understanding, which work well, for example allowing the return of Nigerian nationals who have an expired passport. In 2015, there were 599 enforced removals to Nigeria and 1,361 voluntary removals.

We would not envisage an operational advantage if we were to change our current bilateral arrangements for conducting returns to Nigeria.