European Union Committee report on a Common European Asylum System — Motion to Agree — rejected — 12 Jan 2010 at 21:34
Lord Patten was absent
The majority Not-Contents rejected the recommendations of the European Union Committee's report on the Common European Asylum System.
In October 2009 the European Union (EU) issued new directives on the Common European Asylum System. The first sets out how the EU member-states, who opted into this policy area, should define refugees/asylum seekers. The second sets out basic prodecures for dealing with asylum seekers which EU member-states, who opted into this policy area, must follow.
The UK did opt into the first phase of the Common European Asylum System. The second phase, as set out in the new directives, aims to further integrate EU member-states' asylum policies. However, the UK can choose whether or not to opt into this second phase.
As of January 2010 the UK government did not support the idea of opting into the second phase directives. Their concerns include:
- Restrictions on the use of accelerated asylum procedures
- Restrictions on the use of non-suspensive appeals
- The definition of a family member would include parents of unaccompanied children
- The UK would still have to protect people who could be protected adequately in their own country
However, Lord Jopling argued that the UK should opt into these EU proposals because otherwise the government would continue to have to work under the first phase directives:
- 'While in nearly all other member states the recast directives will apply in place of the first-phase directives, a failure to opt in will result in the first-phase directives continuing to apply in the United Kingdom... Clearly the directives are not satisfactory as they stand but my committee feels that, to get them right, it would be better to be inside the negotiations than outside.'
-  Lord Roper, House of Lords, 12 January 2010
-  Document 14863/09 (Asylum Qualification Directive)
-  Document 14959/09 (Asylum Procedures Directive)
-  Lord West of Spithead, House of Lords, 12 January 2010
-  Lord Jopling, House of Lords, 12 January 2010
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
|Party||Majority (Not-Content)||Minority (Content)||Turnout|
|Lab||66 (+2 tell)||0||31.8%|
|LDem||0||35 (+2 tell)||50.0%|
|Lord Hannay of Chiswick||Crossbench (front bench)||aye|
|Baroness Howe of Idlicote||Crossbench (front bench)||aye|