EU: Border Surveillance

House of Lords written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Lord Judd Lord Judd Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they support the use of pilotless drones and other unmanned air vehicles for European Union border surveillance; and what is their assessment of any implications for asylum seekers having their applications assessed in Europe.

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)

The UK has followed the development of unmanned aerial vehicles with interest. We continue to examine their potential for deployment to detect and deter unauthorised crossing of EU land and sea borders. The use of unmanned aerial vehicles for this purpose is being researched by the EU.

Improvements in EU border security are intended to deter illegal migrants from entering the EU, not to prevent genuine asylum seekers from receiving protection. EU member states are signatories of the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the principles of granting protection to those in genuine need are enshrined in EU law.

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