Protecting Safe and Legal Routes for Refugee Children Post-Brexit.

Bradley Hillier-Smith writes:

An important amendment has been proposed to the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill 2020.

In effect, this bill will end freedom of movement between the UK and EU member states.

Yet, the important amendment to this bill (Amendment 48) would commit the UK to maintain two legal routes for refugee children in Europe to access asylum in the UK. The first legal route is Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 which allows provisions for the transfer of vulnerable unaccompanied refugee children from Europe to the UK. The second is family reunion provisions within Dublin III regulations, which allow refugee children in Europe to be transferred to the UK to be reunited with relatives here. The amendment therefore aims to maintain these two means for refugee children to find safety in the UK.

There are very few safe and legal routes for refugees to find safety in the UK. Refugees (in particular refugee children) also face serious dangers in Europe. Therefore this amendment is crucial in maintaining legal routes to access safety in the UK, away from the dangers of perilous channel crossings and trafficking operations for example.

There will most likely be a vote on this amendment in the House of Lords in the week commencing 28th September.

If passed, this amendment will then be voted on in the House of Commons in the week commencing 5th October.

If and when it is passed in the Lords, LD4SOS will seek to organise a letter-writing and social media pressure campaign, asking MPs to vote in favour of the amendment and thereby guarantee a lifeline for refugee children at risk in Europe.

The full text of the amendment, and subsequent debate in the House of Lords (14th Sept) can be found here: https://bit.ly/3mjTrHT