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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

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his comments, with which I entirely agree.

Among the amendments that have been crafted by the SNP, new clause 43 is designed to oblige the Government to negotiate an agreement so that Dublin III as a whole continues as closely as possible to the current arrangements. So far as we can make out, it is different from other Opposition amendments, which focus only on children with family here. Our purpose is to challenge the Government to explain why the broader Dublin III system is not worth saving.

Amendment 28 relates specifically to children. Again, so far as we can see, it is the only Opposition amendment that goes beyond seeking an agreement and requires Ministers to put in place a scheme so that we keep accepting take-charge requests from unaccompanied minors. We in the SNP ask why that should be negotiated away. If we believe that children seeking international protection are best placed with their families, let us allow that to happen in the United Kingdom. If we get an agreement that the arrangement is mutual with the EU, that would be great, but why wait? Are we seriously saying that, in the unlikely event that the European Union decides to play bad cop, global Britain will not take these children?