BREXIT: EU will use asylum seekers as BARGAINING CHIP in fight over fishing rights
As member states harden their Brexit demands (!), Brussels will threaten to block Britain from returning asylum seekers - this seems to be their bargaining chip to keep hold of UK fish. In response, the UK Brexit negotiator, David Frost, has indicated that he will play hardball with the EU on every issue in what could be a victory for UK sovereignty - and fishermen.
European capitals have moved to add additional text into Michel Barnier’s negotiating guidelines that states transfers back to the continent will stop unless a special arrangement is agreed. The bloc thinks they can use the fresh demands as a bargaining chip to secure trade-offs for their hardline approach to fisheries.
The new guidelines insist on “cooperation regarding asylum policy”.
EU sources said the new demands have been prompted by an increased number of attempts by migrants to enter Britain from European countries.
Currently, the Dublin Regulation allows Britain to transfer asylum seekers back to their first point of entry into Europe.
But after Brexit, the bloc has made clear the provision will no longer apply unless they can reach a deal with Britain during the trade negotiations.
In 2018, the UK submitted 5,510 requests for other member states to take back migrants – mainly to France, Germany and Italy.
In response, the UK received 1,940 demands from other EU countries to take in asylum seekers, mostly in cases of "family reunification."
Brussels sources have suggested a new asylum pact could become part of a “supplementary agreement” that means the bloc could request a deal in another area before taking back refugees from Britain.
One diplomat said: Anything different would require a demand elsewhere, on fish perhaps?”