Asylum: Families

Home Office written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Immigration)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that the ability of refugees and people seeking asylum to reunite with family members in the UK under the Dublin III Regulation will be safeguarded in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement.

Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Immigration)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to protect the rights of families to reunite under the Dublin Regulation in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement.

Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Immigration)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on families who are eligible to be reunited under the provisions of the Dublin III Regulation.

Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis The Minister of State, Home Department

In a no-deal scenario, the UK would immediately cease participating in the Dublin III Regulation. However, under the Immigration, Nationality and Asylum (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 there is a ‘savings’ provision, where any Dublin family reunion cases, which have entered the system prior to exit day, will continue to be processed. The UK is also committed, under section 17 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, to seek to negotiate an agreement with the EU which allows for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the EU to join family members lawfully present in the UK, where it is in their best interests. This commitment stands whether we leave the EU with or without a deal.

The UK provides a safe and legal route to bring families of refugees together through its refugee family reunion policy. This allows a partner and children under 18 of those granted protection in the UK to join them here, if they formed part of the family unit before the sponsor fled their country. This route will not be affected by EU Exit.

Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules provides for family members wishing to enter or remain in the UK on the basis of their relationship with a family member who is a British citizen or settled in the UK, and those who are post-flight family of a person granted protection in the UK. This route will also not be affected by EU Exit.

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