The boundaries of the right to asylum

Published on 16 March 2023 at 09:13

EU countries are not waiting for the recent promise of European immigration ministers to be fulfilled before moving forward on asylum and migration as they see fit. The latest "innovation" - discussed during the ministers' meeting - is a British bill that would (among other things) allow the government to effectively ban migrants arriving by the Channel from claiming asylum once they are in the country.

London itself admits that the bill "pushes the boundaries of international law". The United Nations Refugee Agency has already stated that the bill, if passed, would not only "push the boundaries" but would actually overstep international law, including the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

While the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) does not guarantee the right to asylum as such, it could still be a thorn in the side of the UK if it decides to go ahead with its plan. No matter, suggested Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in February, why not just leave the convention?

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