European Council

Part of Church Commissioners – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 18th December 2006.

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Photo of Margaret Beckett Margaret Beckett Foreign Secretary 3:31 pm, 18th December 2006

There was a certain amount—if not a massive amount—of discussion about migration and asylum, which is recognised as a common problem and, in many cases, a very serious one. A common approach to asylum will be developed over a considerable period of time. I share my hon. Friend's concern about the humanitarian aspects of the problem, as does everyone, but I take the view—which I suspect that he might, on this occasion, share—that one of the best ways to tackle the issue is through tackling global poverty and the trade barriers that create the circumstances that drive people to consider leaving their homeland.