§ Mr. Mike O'Brien
We are not persuaded that it is necessary to change the Immigration Rules. The Dublin Convention provides an agreed legal framework for deciding which member state should decide asylum applications made in the European Union. It provides for a range of criteria to be taken into account including the applicant's family links. Member states have not decided to suspend the operation of the Convention in respect of Kosovan Albanians. In recent weeks, we have transferred 35W a small number of Kosovans to other member states. In each case the receiving state had, in accordance with the provisions of the Dublin Convention, accepted responsibility for considering the asylum applications. All of these persons had arrived in the European Union before the recent North Atlantic Treaty Organisation action. None of those Kosovans who are being airlifted directly from the region to the United Kingdom will be transferred to other states on safe third country grounds.
§ Mr. Mike O'Brien
The available information is that no nationals of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, whose cases have been considered substantively, have been refused asylum in the period January to March 1999. It is not possible separately to identify Kosovans within the statistics held on nationals of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
All applications for asylum are considered within the terms of the 1951 United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 New York Protocol. At the present time, and in general, ethnic Albanians from Kosovo who apply for asylum are likely to be able to demonstrate that they have a well-founded fear of persecution and will be granted asylum.
Where, under the provisions of the Dublin Convention, another European Union member state accepts that it is responsible for determining the claim we would normally seek to transfer the applicant there. Six nationals of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, excluding dependants, have been transferred to European Union Member states since 24 March 1999 under the Dublin Convention. All of these persons had arrived in the European Union before the recent North Atlantic Treaty Organisation action. None who arrived since that date have been transferred. No Ethnic Albanians from Kosovo will be returned to the region while the conflict lasts.
§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to accommodate Kosovan refugees in East Lancashire. 
§ Mr. Straw
The Refugee Council and its partner agencies are working closely with the Home Office and local government associations to identify sites for further reception centres across the United Kingdom. We are looking at all parts of the United Kingdom. There will be a variety of different forms of accommodation used as temporary reception centres where the refugees can be housed prior to moving into more settled accommodation.