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.