David Cameron reporting to the House about the EU Council

June 28, 2011

Yesterday the Prime Minister reported back to the House about the EU Council and I was able to ask him about the problem of migration into the southern part of Europe from North Africa. I thanked him for upholding the principle in the Dublin 2 process whereby asylum cases have to be dealt with in the first country of arrival. Without this, it would be unclear where asylum claims should be dealt with and “forum shopping” – deciding to apply in a particular country because it is perceived to be more liberal than another –would become commonplace. This would lead to an even more chaotic situation. I also raised with him the need to police the Mediterranean more effectively with patrols able to detain ships and catch people traffickers. Apparently, there are moves in the EU’s border force Frontex to strengthen this.

He also made the point that southern European countries do need effective administrative arrangements to deal with asylum cases properly. So, a useful exchange of views took place.

Today at Westminster

June 27, 2011

Today we are hearing the new management details for the Ministry of Defence. I know Liam Fox will want a much tighter system that ensures the Ministry delivers new equipment on time and on budget- something they have struggled to do with their overheated budget.

We will then debate Lords reform. I am hoping to speak. Although there is a respectable argument that the current Upper House does well, it is hard to think we could not improve the selection method for political appointees. Of course we will always want to see great leaders of business, professions, public sector and the charities there, so some appointments are needed. But I feel there is a case for electing the political element.