HL Deb 21 February 2005 vol 669 c166WA
Lord Dykes

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will review the United Kingdom reserve on participation in European Union asylum and immigration procedures. [HL1241]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal

The Government's position remains unchanged since we negotiated our Title IV and Frontiers Protocols at Amsterdam in 1997. Under the former, the UK retains the right to opt-in to EU immigration and asylum measures. Where measures are in our interest, we will opt-in and are bound by the measure. Where they do not benefit the UK we do not participate. We have successfully used our opt-in for over five years, and we will continue to do so. We will also maintain our right, under the Frontiers Protocol, to operate immigration controls at our borders.

Immigration and asylum are international issues demanding international solutions. Co-operation with EU partners can help to deliver our domestic objectives of tackling abuse of the asylum system and combating illegal immigration.