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Home Office written question – answered on 31st July 2017.

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Photo of Lord Lester of Herne Hill Lord Lester of Herne Hill Liberal Democrat

Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the benefits and costs to the UK of membership of the European Asylum Support Office.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) plays an important role in supporting asylum cooperation between Member States and in helping those Member States whose asylum and reception systems are under pressure. EASO is funded directly by the EU budget.

The Government continues to support the principle of EU hotspots and has deployed resources through EASO to the hotspots in Italy and Greece.

Last year, the Government took a decision not to opt in to the proposed EU Agency for Asylum, which will replace EASO. The Government’s key consideration was the significant amount of oversight of the UK asylum system, which would be given to the Agency should the UK choose to participate. Written Ministerial Statement HCWS373 of 16 December refers.

Until the UK leaves the EU, there will be no immediate changes to how the UK engages with EASO. Until then, we remain a full member of EASO, maintaining voting rights at the management board and playing a strong role in influencing EU asylum policy.

The Government will consider the UK’s future relationship with the EU in terms of asylum cooperation as part of the broader EU exit negotiations.

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