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Main power in connection with other separation issues

Part of European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:45 pm on 8th January 2020.

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Photo of Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice and Home Affairs), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 12:45 pm, 8th January 2020

The answer to that is that the whole scheme is not being bunged into this Bill. The obligation to maintain certain minimum-level requirements is being taken out by the Bill, although it was agreed by cross-party Members, including Tim Loughton, in the last Parliament.

The UK’s immigration rules as they stand—apart from some very limited circumstances—allow children to reunite only with parents, not with other relatives, in the UK. Under the EU Dublin III regulation, children have a legal route to reunite with other family members such as siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and 95% of children that the charity Safe Passage supports to reunite with family safely and legally would be ineligible under the current UK rules. The consequence of this is that they would be forced to remain alone, separated from their families. There is a legitimate concern that taking out this previous commitment, through the Bill, is the beginning of a move towards an absolutely minimalist approach by the Government to their rights and duties.