HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 cc222-3W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the measures his Department is taking to ensure there is a co-ordinated asylum policy across EU member states. [146542]

Beverley Hughes

The UK Government are engaged in the on-going negotiations to ensure that European measures on asylum allow member states to deal effectively with applications while retaining flexibility to respond to the particular circumstances they face domestically.

The UK has participated actively in negotiations on all EU asylum initiatives to date, and for example, played a major role in shaping the Eurodac and Dublin II Regulations, which have helped us identify and return asylum shoppers to EU countries where they first arrived or claimed asylum. We retain the right to opt in to European asylum measures on a case-by-case basis, and will do so where it is in the United Kingdom's interests.

For further details on the measures taken, I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Crosby on 17 November 2003, Official Report, columns 673–74W.