HC Deb 23 November 1995 vol 267 cc286-7W
Mr. Menzies Campbell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his Department's current practice in respect of immigration officials passing on details of the claims of persons seeking asylum to the embassies of countries from which asylum seekers have travelled; and if he will make a statement. [1526]

Mr. Kirkhope

All applications for asylum in the United Kingdom are treated as confidential. No information about an asylum claim is disclosed to the authorities of the applicant's country of origin. However, both the Dublin convention, which is not yet in force, and the European Union resolution on minimum guarantees for asylum procedures provide for information to be disclosed in confidence to the asylum authorities of other member states of the European Union through which the applicant has passed or which may have responsibility for considering the asylum claim.

Mr. Khabra

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for asylum have been rejected on the safe third country ground. [1260]

Mr. Kirkhope

In 1994 865 asylum applications were refused on the safe third country ground and 1,205 in the first nine months of 1995. A nationality split is available in table 4.3 of the Home Office statistical bulletin, "Asylum Statistics United Kingdom 1994", issue 15/95. A copy of this publication is available in the Library.

Ms Janet Anderson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give details of the pilot scheme adopted by immigration officials to accelerate asylum applications from certain countries. [149]

Mr. Kirkhope

I am placing a short report on the pilot scheme in the Library.

Mr. Henderson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which countries have undergone events likely to give rise to a well-founded fear of persecution among the nationals since 1988; and which countries are currently undergoing such events. [552]

Mr. Kirkhope

Under proposals on which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security has been consulting for restricting the benefit entitlement of asylum seekers, it is envisaged that the Benefit Agency will be notified in the event of a future fundamental change of circumstances in a country such that persons will not normally be returned to it for the time being.