Rather misses the point really

Britain will have to allow asylum seekers to make applications from France if it wants a deal over Channel migrants, sources close to Emmanuel Macron, the French president, have said.

Only partially mind. This is something I get shouted at over every time I point it out. It is true all the same.

Of course, anywhere can offer asylum to anyone they like. So it’s not “necessary” to apply for asylum in the first safe country. On the other hand, asylum is, according to international law, a right. If you’re unsafe then a safe place must let you in. There’s clearly a slight logical gap there – or potentially so.

What it is is that the *first* safe place must let you in. Any subsequent safe places may do so if they decide to. The right, rather than the privilege, applies to that first safe place only.

France is a safe place by these usual rules. Therefore asylum seeking from there to the UK is something the UK authorities can accept or reject as they wish – using that base international legal thing.

As to the Macron proposal? Take him up on it and reject the applications as much as anyone wants to. Be entirely and wholly within the law in doing so.

19 thoughts on “Rather misses the point really”

  1. Even an incompetent bureaucrat like me could organise this. A piece of paper for them to make their application with a big NO!!! on the bottom.

    Of course those foul fiendish frogs would pretend that I actually meant yes. So you’d still need boats in the Channel to drag ’em back to France.

  2. The voters, as usual, will the ends but not the means. The government is aware of their squeamishness. So they do very little to make life unpleasant for “asylum seekers”.
    The Danes have begun repatriating immigrants when the political situation in the country of origin has stabilised. Perhaps we should follow their example: many “British” people were stuck in Kabul when the Taliban moved in.
    For once Macron has a point.

  3. Indeed. Asylum seekers have the right to claim asylum only in the first safe country they reach. If they make the claim anywhere else, it’s a privilege.

  4. Take him up on it and reject the applications as much as anyone wants to.

    Nice try, but those handling the applications won’t want to reject them. In much the same way as the “Border Force” doesn’t want to stop invaders crossing the border. French Presidents and African peasants are not the problem, it’s the cunts who have marched through our institutions that threaten us.

    Democracy is meaningless when the entire apparatus of the state is run by the minority.

  5. JuliaM- ah yes forgot about them. – the blurb above “i vouch that, in the name of liberty, fraternity and equality it is unsafe for this individual to be in my country.”

  6. “JuliaM
    February 2, 2022 at 8:47 am
    @HallowedBe: triplicate, surely? It is the UK civil service, after all…”

    Triplicate, carbon paper copies, and only on the approved form – no printouts.

    With a notarized signature. From the consulate. Said official available by appointment only.

  7. The first safe place requirement is a common myth: https://fullfact.org/immigration/refugees-first-safe-country/

    It should also be easy to see how such a requirement would be very unfair – countries adjoining an unsafe place would have to accept a huge majority of refugees, while distant countries would get almost none. This is very much contrary to “a true spirit of international co-operation in order that these refugees may find asylum and the possibility of resettlement” recommended in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees which is the relevant international law.

    And in any case, that dates from 1951. At that time the British Empire, although somewhat reduced, still covered a lot of territory, so there would have been very many ways that refugees could have entered. Furthermore, in those days there was no necessity to have all travel documents in order before arriving, so refugees who could pay for passage on a ship could escape directly to Britain from very many places.

  8. @Tim: Looking at that article, I find it contains a link to the UNHCR site which explicitly says:
    “The Convention does not require refugees to claim asylum in the first safe country they reach, or make it illegal to seek asylum if a claimant has passed through another safe country.”

    I think that’s fairly clear.

    However, ultimately the convention is not really a law at all as there is no provision for enforcement. It’s more like a gentlemen’s agreement which any country which is sufficiently cruel and callous can ignore.

  9. Which is why I’ve said the following: The right, the right which must be granted, to asylum refers to the first safe place. Anyone can apply anywhere, of course, anywhere can, may, grant whatever it likes. But the right, unconditional and pure, to asylum remains in that first safe place.

    If this were not true then there wouldn’t even be the concept of refoulment…..

  10. No it’s not the first safe place. It can be any place. The restriction is that if a refugee settles in one country they cannot then claim asylum in a different country unless they are now fleeing from where they settled. There is no restriction on how complex the journey can be to get from where they start to where they claim asylum.

  11. Charles, we obviously disagree on the basic principle. I feel that the preferences of the local populace are absolutely paramount.

    You evidently believe that it’s the choices of the ‘refugees’ that should be in first place.

  12. @Boganboy

    As I said above, any country which is sufficiently cruel and callous can do what they want.

    Plus, of course, there’s the purely selfish motive that a country might have of wanting immigrants who are so devoted to it that they go through extreme hardship to get there.

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