Showdown on move that could compel Britain to open doors to asylum seekers 23rd June 2011: Prime Minister David Cameron and Brussels bureaucrats are on a collusion course.
They are heading for a showdown over a move that could eventually compel Britain to open doors to thousands more asylum seekers.
As of now, the European Commission has come out with a suggestion to place under suspension a rule allowing countries to return asylum seekers to the European country they first arrived in.
Cameron is determined to resist the move at a summit of EU leaders being organised in Brussels.
The Dublin Regulation was aimed at preventing people from sneaking their way into Europe through porous borders. They would wait until they could find their way into wealthy countries, Britain included, for lodging their asylum claim.
But a challenge was thrown to the rule in January, when the European Court of Human Rights prohibited immigrants from being returned to Greece as the poor conditions there breached their human rights.
At that time, the immigration experts had issued a warning that the ruling would see thousands more asylum seekers pack their bags for Britain via Greece.
As the EU Commission now proposes to place under suspension the Dublin Regulation altogether, a spokesman said the Prime Minister would be among those resisting the proposal.
The spokesman said: “We think the regulation is important. What happens on the edge of Europe’s borders matters to us and to migration to the UK. We support the regulation because it creates a system of shared responsibility. It means people care about what happens on Europe’s borders and people patrol their borders effectively.”
Downing Street added: “We are in a different club from other nations but we care because what happens on the border of Europe does impact on the UK. People coming to the EU through other countries can end up in the UK. That’s why it’s in our interests to work with other countries to ensure there are effective border controls.”