Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Britain: an EU colony?

Apparently the British no longer have the right to decide who can or can not come into their country:

Downing Street admitted today that the Government has signed away its right to cut the number of asylum seekers in Britain.

The Government confirmed that Michael Howard's plans to put a cap on numbers would be unlawful because of European directives agreed last year.

The extraordinary twist to the immigration furore was revealed by Brussels officials who pointed out that the Government gave up any power to cut numbers when it agreed a directive last March making asylum an a matter for EU law.

The claim provoked surprise, coming hours after the Tory leader put tough immigration controls at the heart of his election campaign.

Under Conservative plans, Britain would withdraw from the 1951 UN convention on refugees and impose a 10,000-20,000 a year ceiling on asylum claims.

But No 10 said the convention had become enshrined in EU law by a directive agreed last March, so Mr Howard could not carry out his policy without EU permission.

This is embarrassing for both party leaders, because neither highlighted the loss of power until the EU itself pointed it out. The Tories insisted they could renegotiate the EU law - but No 10 said that was virtually impossible.


Post a Comment

<< Home

View My Stats