HC Deb 01 July 2002 vol 388 cc79-80W
Mr. Gale

To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer to the hon. Member for North Thanet on 24 June 2002,Official Report, column 627, if he will indicate which article in the Dublin Convention supersedes the Sangatte Protocol; and if this assertion has been tested in law. [64871]

The Prime Minister

An agreement was signed with France dated 20 April 1995 in relation to the taking back of passengers who are refused admission on arrival in the UK ("the 1995 Agreement").

That agreement covers, among other things, the arrival of asylum seekers through the channel tunnel and therefore has the effect of qualifying the relevant provisions of the Sangatte Protocol of 25 November 1991.

The 1995 Agreement provided that, in relation to asylum seekers, it would be superseded by the relevant provisions of the Dublin Convention once that Convention entered into force. The Dublin Convention came into force on 1 September 1997. Therefore from that date, in relation to those claiming asylum, the provisions of the Dublin Convention prevail in so far as that Convention determines which state is responsible for deciding the claim.

We are not aware that this issue has ever been litigated.

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