Very Disappointing – UK ‘Opts Out’ of Fairer Approach for Asylum

The Economic Times, 17 October 2011:

LONDON: Britain has refused to implement two asylum directives of the European Union as part of its moves to be tough on immigration and asylum seekers.

Signing up to the EU’s Reception Conditions Directive would meant Britain could allow asylum seekers to work after six months, even if their claims had been refused and they were appealing against the decision.

Immigration Minister Damian Green has informed Parliament that the UK will not be opting into the EU asylum directives.

According to him, the directives would have ‘restricted the country’s ability to run an asylum system which is both fair and efficient’.

“This Government does not support a common asylum system in Europe. That is why we have not opted in to these directives and will not opt in to any proposal which would weaken our border,” Green said.

A Home Office release said that signing up to the directives would have sent out the “wrong message, encouraging those who do not need our protection to make unfounded asylum claims”.

“It would also have required all detention to be authorised by a judge, whether or not the detainee wanted to apply for bail. This would have placed a burden on our courts and been costly for the British taxpayer,” the Home Office said in a statement.

It said that opting in to the Procedures Directive “would have jeopardised ways of working which enable the UK to manage straightforward asylum claims effectively – in particular the Detained Fast Track which provides speedy but fair decisions for asylum seekers whose claims can be decided quickly.”

Meanwhile, Iranian Refugees Action Network, and other charities, have highly skilled and qualified refugees wanting to come to the UK, which they have now been told by the UN has ‘closed its borders’ for at least this year.  These victims of torture and other human rights atrocities simply wish a safe country of resettlement, and hope the UK will consider its decision to be once again in the ‘slow lane’ of human rights.



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