Rishi Sunak(James Manning/PA)

According to The Report, a political agreement reached in Brussels proposes a fresh approach to EU asylum policies. The plan allocates a portion of the expected 30,000 annual asylum-seekers to each member state, with additional support options such as financial aid, equipment, or personnel.

A crucial element is the creation of “waiting zones” to process asylum claims within a maximum of 12 weeks, followed by expulsion within an extra three months for rejected applicants.

French MEP Fabienne Keller, a key negotiator, emphasizes the full application of the Geneva Convention in these waiting zones, distinguishing it from controversial relocation proposals. Despite the deal’s implementation in the upcoming year, human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, express concerns about potential worsening conditions for asylum seekers and migrants.

This EU plan raises questions about its impact on cross-Channel migration, a challenge Rishi Sunak aims to address. The proposal could affect irregular migration dynamics to the UK, deeming those arriving in Europe without papers as “inadmissible.” Fabienne Keller suggests systematic control may reduce arrivals in Calais, a departure point for the English Channel journey.

The implications for the UK’s migration approach remain uncertain. While Labour pledges to negotiate a migrant returns deal with the EU, Keller anticipates potential UK agreements involving accepting asylum-seekers and financial contributions, mirroring practices among member states.

As Rishi Sunak strives to fulfill the commitment to “stop the boats,” the EU’s evolving asylum policies introduce a new element to the cross-Channel migration landscape. The coming months will likely witness increased scrutiny of how these developments shape the broader narrative and strategies concerning immigration in the UK and the EU.

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