Changes to Immigration rules

The government has just changed the Immigration rules again, to make clearer certain important elements to the rules.

Refugee status will be withdrawn if someone obtained that status by deception. It will be withdrawn if the protection is no longer needed. It will be withdrawn if the person commits a serious crime, or becomes a threat to our national security.

New rules highlight the fact that no national   arriving from the EU  can make an asylum claim. Under EU law all EU countries are deemed to be safe, so any claim for asylum should be inadmissible unless there are exceptional circumstances. In future the UK will normally regard any EU national claim as inadmissible. If they present a case that they are exceptional it will be considered but there will be no right of appeal against a decision.

These and other changes are to tighten controls under existing EU rules, and may be helpful at the margin. Clearly they cannot and do not deal with the bigger issue of freedom of movement.


  1. Dame Rita Webb
    November 16, 2015

    Lots there about removing “status” but nothing about actually removing them from the UK at a faster pace.

    1. Mike Stallard
      November 16, 2015

      And there is nothing about the young warriors who masquerade as children.
      I want to say, though, that on the whole, within in the EU straitjacket, Mr Cameron and the government have done a cracking job on immigration compared with their continental colleagues.

      1. Dame Rita Webb
        November 16, 2015

        Eh in the city in which I used to live the best primary schools have catchment areas of literally a couple of hundreds of metres. Cameron and Co are no different to the Euro leaders, all you can see is the early stages of the Swedish disease!

    2. Timaction
      November 16, 2015

      Indeed. Why do the authorities keep illegal immigrants at our expense in Hotels and the like? Why does it take so long to remove them? Why aren’t they deported and make their appeals from their home Countries? When is this Human Rights nonsense stopping? What about English peoples rights to their own homeland?
      I see that Mr Junker still thinks its a good ideal to let the economic migrants enter the EU (eventually UK, under freedom of movement) for his plans to remove peoples feelings of Nationalism. More and more these unelected officials are proving to be a dictatorship with no means to remove them.
      Our intrepid leaders letter to a foreign power was so feeble to be pathetic on the cosmetic changes to the EU that he wants. I read over the weekend that it is well known in EU circles that this is a Cameron/Osborne stitch up and charade to fool the people. The deals are already done and he’ll come back with his Chamberlain moment. The only negotiations are to give us Associate membership, a “British deal” with no change on increasing costs for foreign infrastructure and farmers. Everything will be stage managed to try and demonstrate how wonderful his negotiations have been whilst the real deal is no return of powers, ever closer union, an combined military, no return of CAP or fisheries, more free movement, including Turkey and more. The creation of a Country. If we loose this referendum our Country is lost at the connivance of the legacy leadership and its members.

  2. Lifelogic
    November 16, 2015

    These changes are welcome but in practice will very much change?

    Clearly the Cameron government is not even trying to do a deal on “the bigger issue of freedom of movement” which is really the issue that matters. So anyone granted right to stay in the EU can turn up in England or the EU anyway.

    The UK needs to be able to decide who does and does not have a right to reside in the UK just like every other nation.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      November 16, 2015

      Dear Lifelogic–Need to be clearer what you are fighting against, which is that as things stand we are very much not “like every other nation”; indeed if the EU maniacs had their way we would not be a nation at all. It is all really so rather odd because I for one have never met anybody in my life who aspires to live in a nation called the EU.

  3. Douglas Carter
    November 16, 2015

    …’Refugee status … will be withdrawn if the protection is no longer needed’…

    It’s my understanding that in recent years, there have been instances of individuals awarded protection in the UK who have subsequently travelled back to the country or region in which they remain ostensibly at risk.

    From what I have read, they have done so for reasons which were to all intents and purposes, non-essential. Under those circumstances, I would hope HM Government would see examples of this as situations where that protection awarded was seen as ‘no longer needed’?

    Cynically-speaking, observation and history shows it’s one thing to Legislate, quite another to get these matters through the Courts, the Judiciary and the Human Rights Industry (‘Industry’ used intentionally and accurately…). I would expect to see the Government fight these tenets through to the conclusion, and not meekly surrender to the fashionable chatterati and the Islington set. Or ECJ or ECHR rulings, for that matter.

    Finally, something mentioned yesterday, I’d like to see the Foreign Office give a definitive illustration as to whether France is considered a ‘Safe Destination’ in cases of deportation? Not extradition, or cases involving the EAW, but strictly ‘deportation’. Their answer could well be quite illuminating.

    I hope that question is pursued in public by senior political figures – recently enquiries made through my MP have returned responses from Government Departments comprising an awful lot of words, but absent an identifiable unambiguous answer to the question asked.

    November 16, 2015

    Not many refugees/asylum seekers/anti-apartheid activists and writers returned to the Republic of South Africa after they got what they wished for. They no longer need our protection.They should be given a helping hand to return to enjoy the fruits of their efforts. So too those of former Rhodesia who may now bask in the liberté, égalité and fraternité of Zimbabwe. I guess asylum seekers from Myanmar formerly Burma will be biting at the bit to return to their recently enfranchised homeland too.

    Yes, there could very well be a massive slump in the housing market as hundreds of thousands of owners and tenants up and leave our bless-ed Albion. This could place so many millions here in negative equity.
    Government should really think things through before acting.

  5. The Active Citizen
    November 16, 2015

    Thank you for this information JR. Of course most of us would wonder why on earth these changes hadn’t been implemented soon after the 2010 election – did the Lib Dems seriously veto them?

    Tomorrow there’s an important meeting of Conservatives for Britain (CfB), of which you are a Vice-President.

    For those readers of your diary who’ve lost track of all the various anti-EU bodies, CfB has around 120 MPs, MEPs, or Members of the House of Lords, and was set up for ‘Conservative supporters who want to see fundamental change in Britain’s relationship with the European Union’.

    On CfB’s website there’s an excellent powerpoint presentation from you JR, summarising the arguments against the UK’s membership of the EU.

    I understand that the Group’s meeting tomorrow is to consider its reaction to the publication of the Government’s ‘renegotiation demands’ letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. I’d like to make two points in advance of this meeting if I may.

    1. Mr Cameron’s letter to Donald Tusk demonstrates that no Conservative MP now needs to wait for the result of the renegotiation. The PM’s demands fall so woefully short of what is needed that the result of the negotiation is immaterial.

    MPs such as yourself, who wish the restoration of sovereignty and national democracy and who recognise the EU as being a bureaucratic, uncommercial, and dysfunctional institution stuck in post-war idealogy which is hopelessly out of date and which holds back our growth, can now declare yourselves fully in favour of a Brexit, come what may.

    2. I worry greatly about CfB’s seemingly automatic desire to side with Vote Leave Ltd. Surely CfB can come out – or at least can allow a significant proportion of its members to come out – as being simply for Brexit, regardless of the renegotiation. Why is it necessary at the same time to affiliate yourselves with one of the main competing exit campaigns?

    On the latter point, there are many people who have serious concerns about both the two major competing leave campaigns: ‘Vote Leave’ and ‘’.

    In particular, Vote Leave Ltd’s prime movers (and its two directors), Matthew Elliott and Dominic Cummings, have conspicuously failed to say that they believe we should leave the EU if the leave vote wins.
    (See this from the new ‘LeaveHQ’ campaign of which Dr Richard North is a part.)

    At this point, I also can’t say I would support either, for different reasons. However at least they actually want Brexit and say so.

    I very much hope that you and the majority of your like-minded colleagues will come out of the CfB meeting tomorrow, declaring yourselves fully for exit from the EU, regardless of any negotiations.

    In my opinion the EU is beyond help in terms of reform into a workable association of European nation states ready to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. If many of these states wish to proceed with their project – and if their peoples are fully informed and understand what their leaders are taking them into – that’s their choice. However we mustn’t be dragged further down into something which is alien to so much of what we believe in.

    Reply I have made quite clear I am campaigning to leave, and Vote leave of course thinks if we win we leave! CFB has some members who want to see the agreed terms before deciding and we wish to bring them with us to Vote to leave.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 16, 2015

      Active Citizen, your link doesn’t work but LeaveHQ is here:

      JR, then why doesn’t the referendum Bill say that if there is a vote to leave the EU we will leave the EU? Why is it silent on what would ensue, when it would be easy to have a clause saying that if there are more votes to leave than to remain then the minister must put in a formal notice that we intend to leave. That could be the formal notice required by Article 50 TEU to initiate the process for withdrawal laid down in that article , or if people seriously object to that treaty article being used then it could just be a formal diplomatic notice; but one way or the other normal conduct of international relations dictates that we would have to tell the EU that we were leaving, rather than assuming that they’d find out from the media. I would point out that the Bill could not have gone through the Commons with that glaring deficiency (and several others) unless the CfB MPs had voted for it.

      Reply We voted for the Bill the government drafted, as we wanted to get it through! I want a referendum, and that was the Bill on offer. Labour would not have supported any such amendment to it. The PM has made it crystal clear that voting Leave means Leave. If the public do vote to leave then we will have our mandate to get on with it as quickly as possible.

      1. Denis Cooper
        November 16, 2015

        Suitable amendments to the government’s Bill could have been proposed and either passed or not passed without the Bill falling in consequence.

    2. Graham Wood
      November 16, 2015

      TAC ” I worry greatly about CfB’s seemingly automatic desire to side with Vote Leave Ltd.”

      I’m intrigued by your concern about the two major ‘leave’ campaigns Leave.EU and Vote.Leave. Whilst the latter wishes to see the agreed terms following negotiation by the PM before deciding to leave, it seems clear that following the pitifully inadequate demands from Mr Cameron in his letter to Mr Tusk, that both of these campaigns are, or will be on the part of Vote.Leave, fully committed to leaving the EU. Are your concerns substantial or relatively minor?

      It seems clear too that Mr Cameron’s emerging ‘British Model’ of some sort of EU associated membership status for the UK has also been rumbled by both of these groups, and indeed by the other ‘Brexiteesrs’ and all of these will undoubtedly vigorously challenge this position in coming debates before the referendum.
      Whilst the two main anti EU groups are clearly rivals for the position of being chosen by the Electoral Commission as the lead group, both in effect are united in purpose and with all of the other groups in the one objective of leaving the EU.

      Together with JR’s and Owen Paterson’s continuing valuable contributions to the debate and the growing consensus amongst many other anti-EU groups, it will be interesting to see how the cookie crumbles with CFB later this week.

    3. alan jutson
      November 16, 2015


      I hope that you may also discuss and agree that the 16-17 age group will not be given a vote as they were in the Scottish referendum, as this agenda seems its being pushed it is reported by the House of Lords and the vote to stay campaign.

      Like wise foreign visitors to our Country should not be allowed to vote.

      We need the same rules for voter qualification as apply at the General Election.

      Reply That is the government’s policy, to keep the same qualification to vote as for the May 2015 GE.

      1. Denis Cooper
        November 16, 2015

        The problem is that the franchise for general elections includes several million foreign citizens. It shouldn’t, but it does.

    4. The Active Citizen
      November 16, 2015

      Reply to reply.
      You’re an honourable man JR and I accept you’re campaigning to leave the EU. I understand that CfB is trying to keep a consensus amongst all members, but this is in danger of preventing the Group from now speaking out categorically in favour of leaving the EU come what may.

      I hope that (if necessary) a sub-group of CfB members including yourself will be able to make a statement after the meeting tomorrow, stating that you believe Britain is better off outside the EU, regardless of the outcome of the so-called negotiations.

      I believe that you personally want the UK to exit from the EU immediately following a successful ‘leave’ vote in the Referendum. (By ‘immediate’, I mean Parliament invoking Article 50 and as soon as possible revoking the European Communities Act and its subsequent amendments.)

      However I would like to hear categorically from Matthew Elliott and Dominic Cummings, the two Directors of Vote Leave Ltd, that a ‘leave’ vote means the same to them.

      The Jesuits would be proud of some of the verbal contortions from some so-called Eurosceptics during the long-standing EU debate. I urge you to ask Elliott and Cummings the following:

      “If a majority of the British people vote ‘Leave’ in the Referendum for the UK to exit the EU, do you agree that we should immediately effect the necessary announcements, laws and other instruments to make it certain that the UK will leave the European Union as quickly as possible, without recourse to more negotiations and/or a further referendum?” Answer: Yes or No.

      To be specific, it’s not good enough for the leave vote to be used as a basis for renegotiation and a second referendum. I would simply like confirmation from those two gentlemen that they are 100% in favour of leaving the EU with no further ado, assuming the Referendum goes that way.

      I don’t think that this is much to ask, do you?

      JR, I hope the meeting goes well for you tomorrow and that something of substance comes out of it.

      1. oldtimer
        November 16, 2015

        I heard Mr Cameron state that Leave means Leave, and that there will be no second referendum as part of an attempt to secure a better offer after a Leave vote.

        I understand that there have been some who saw this as a negotiating tactic but it appears to have been rules out. Nevertheless I understand your wish for the issues and decisions at stake to be absolutely defined and to be absolutely specific without wriggle room. If Leave carries the day I would expect there to be many, many attempts to delay Grexit – not least by the EU itself.

        1. old salt
          November 16, 2015

          What happened in Portugal could happen here? Our masters would never allow us to leave. They could not afford to lose our many various contributions.

    5. Graham Wood
      November 16, 2015

      Active Citizen
      I’m intrigued by your concern about the two major ‘leave’ campaigns Leave.EU and Vote.Leave. Whilst the latter wishes to see the agreed terms following negotiation by the PM before deciding to leave, it seems clear that following the pitifully inadequate demands from Mr Cameron in his letter to Mr Tusk, that both of these campaigns are, or will be on the part of Vote.Leave, fully committed to leaving the EU. Are your concerns substantial or relatively minor?

      It seems clear too that Mr Cameron’s emerging ‘British Model’ of some sort of EU associated membership status for the UK has also been rumbled by both of these groups, and indeed by the other ‘Brexiteesrs’ and all of these will undoubtedly vigorously challenge this position in coming debates before the referendum.
      Whilst the two main anti EU groups are clearly rivals for the position of being chosen by the Electoral Commission as the lead group, both in effect are united in purpose and with all of the other groups in the one objective of leaving the EU.
      Together with JR’s and Owen Paterson’s continuing valuable contributions to the debate and the growing consensus amongst many other anti-EU groups, it will be interesting to see how the cookie crumbles with CFB later this week.

  6. matthu
    November 16, 2015

    I am confused.

    Let’s just suppose we have a refugee from a dangerous state who commits a serious crime in this country. (Would that include, say, carrying a weapon, advocating mass violence or rape? Or only if such crime resulted in 5 years behind bars?)

    So now his refugee status is “withdrawn”.

    I presume that withdrawal would be automatic and not subject to appeal?

    Would the individual them become stateless? Would they perhaps be incarcerated? Or would they simply be trusted to return at a later date to have their status reviewed?

    A number of protesters alleged to have committed a crime recently refused to reveal their identities in court. Is contempt of court still considered a serious crime? They were simply advised to return voluntarily to court at a later date.

    1. Dame Rita Webb
      November 16, 2015

      Its a load of cobblers! If you remember the Chinese cockle pickers in Morecombe HMG could not get some of the miscreants behind the disaster back to China. The Chinese government said if they have no papers, proving their citizenship, we are not taking them back. As you know most refugees these days travel without proof of ID.

      Sensible countries like Switzerland just send them back to the first safe country they arrived in. For example 600 have been sent back to Germany this year alone. No problems there with claims that ” I have a right to a family life”

  7. Mark B
    November 16, 2015

    Good morning.

    They only claim asylum to get the right to stay. Many just arrive illegally and do not claim asylum at all but disapear into the ether.

    Still, I suppose its progress, of sorts.

  8. alan jutson
    November 16, 2015

    Well it all certainly sounds like a marginal improvement.

    If it works then well done, as its another loophole closed.

    I assume it did not need any debate in HOC and a vote, as not heard anything of this being discussed or reported.

    Will the Court of Human rights also uphold the new guidelines, with no right of appeal ?

    If so all to the good, as I see it is now being reported that lawyers have been travelling to Calais to inform the waiting throngs there, that if they have a relative in the UK they can appeal for refugee status without even being here, something about Dublin 3 arrangements.

    Will these new guidelines over rule this type of action.

    Reply It was reported to Parliament which is how I know about it. I presume the Opposition will not wish to debate and oppose it. I and my colleagues agree with it and have no wish to hold it up.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 16, 2015

      These changes will not affect a single one of the waiting throngs in Calais because they are not nationals of any of the EU member states, EU citizens as the treaties say. If they did fall in the category covered by these changes they would not be thronging in Calais, as EU citizens they could just come over any time they wanted to.

      Here are some explanatory notes:


      1. This explanatory memorandum has been prepared by the Home Office and is
      laid before Parliament by Command of Her Majesty.

      2. Purpose of the Instrument

      2.1. The purpose of these changes is to:

      • Make asylum claims from EU nationals inadmissible unless exceptional
      circumstances apply … ”

      I’m sorry, JR, but you’ve got the wrong end of the stick on that.

      reply No, I have written what the regs say

      1. Denis Cooper
        November 17, 2015

        Further into the Explanatory Memorandum linked above, in Part 4 about the legislative context, it actually refers to the protocol I’ve mentioned below:

        “4.3. Protocol 24 of the Lisbon Treaty relates to asylum for nationals of EU
        Member States of the European Union. Protocol 24 states that asylum claims from EU nationals should be declared inadmissible unless they fall within one of the four criteria which mainly revolve around another EU country derogating from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) or if it is decided unilaterally to consider the claim. Where the claim is considered, as per current policy, it must begin with a presumption that it is manifestly unfounded.”

        “4.4. At an EU level, the Qualification, Procedures and Reception Directives which form the common asylum system are restricted in their application to Third Country Nationals and therefore do not apply to EU nationals … ”

        “4.5. In light of the above, there is no legislation that prevents the proposed changes to the Immigration Rules to make inadmissibility the default position for EU nationals who claim asylum; with the possibility of considering a claim in exceptional circumstances. Further, as the Procedures Directive does not apply to EU nationals, there is no international obligation to provide an interview. Immigration Rules are
        therefore being introduced to make asylum claims from EU nationals inadmissible unless exceptional circumstances apply.”

        This is only about making any asylum claims from the citizens of other EU countries “inadmissible”, rather than the current policy whereby such a claim is admissible but must be considered with “a presumption that it is manifestly unfounded.”

  9. Ex-expat Colin
    November 16, 2015

    How and/or where do we return them if their claim is rejected or have tricked us? I often read that origin countries don’t want them?

    And I don’t understand whats happening with the Dublin Regulation
    It appears there’s holes in everything…apart from borders?

  10. alan jutson
    November 16, 2015

    I hope this is not a backdoor trick to allow Turkey into the EU.

    1. Mike Stallard
      November 16, 2015

      Amen to that!

  11. Anonymous
    November 16, 2015

    This issue is now critical and is a severe threat to European and British civilisation.

    All we hear is of the benefits of mass immigration.

    When is someone going to demand that terror, military expenditure, loss of life, crime, loss of our own culture, increased welfare and loss of freedoms are deducted from those so called benefits ?

    1. bluedog
      November 16, 2015

      Precisely. One senses that the aggregate cost already outstrips the benefits. Adding the massive physical disruption from both routine and then emergency security measures gives a picture where the economic cost of a hostile and unproductive mendicant demographic is completely prohibitive. Prudent management would suggest devising a range measures to mitigate and then eliminate the economic drag on the nation.

    2. Anonymous
      November 17, 2015

      Will the ÂŁ2bn promised to security services for anti terrorism – announced yesterday -be deducted from the net economic contribution that mass migration makes to Britain ?

      What about the costs in money and life of any war that has been waged in recent years “…to keep terror off our streets” ?

      UKIP came fourth in your seat because your constituents had a proper Eurosceptic Tory to vote for.

      UKIP do a good job. If only to highlight the fact that we can no longer speak in direct and honest terms in this country. I wouldn’t expect a Tory to ever ask the reasonable question I have posed above but I can rely on UKIP to do it.

    3. old salt
      November 17, 2015

      I hear there would appear to be a concerted political will to destroy nation states through mass immigration”. So much for so called democracy.

    November 16, 2015

    That asylum/immigration issues are being lumped together in the national consciousness with terrorism perhaps is understandable. What does not compute is President Hollande’s response to his neglect of the security of his own people by his authorising, suddenly, 20 bombs being dropped on Raqqa in Syria. Why were not they dropped two weeks ago? Have these targets coincidentally miraculously emerged right after the Paris murders? Yet the murderers are French and Belgian citizens. They do not live in Raqqa. They have never lived in Raqque. In this regard,Mr Hollande, should not also kick his dog.

    The UK press reports again Mr Cameron is in favour of bombing Syria as if this is a correct response to elements of your own people turning to murder and treason. His dog if he has one should be confiscated and perhaps any small animal like a pet hamster should along with any cylindrically shaped battery flashlights be removed from Downing Street.

    So, GCHQ will get more money and thousands of extra people sat on computer seats. Should Kalashnikov wielding thugs shoot up hundreds of shoppers, we can rest assured their Twitter accounts will be deleted,their Facebook accounts suspended, and Puffin Island will receive a a sound bombing by British Intelligence embedded in the RAF.

  13. Anonymous
    November 16, 2015

    It is unsettling to hear that France was able to muster hundreds of armed officers within minutes.

    They have 280,000 armed officers compared to our 6000.

    Terrorists could go on a 20 minute rampage in an English village before the first police ARV containing just TWO officers arrived. In a major city the police could be easily overwhelmed.

    Reply It is clear that we would have to use rapid response units with helicopters or other fast travel if a terrorist incident occurred away from main population centres with armed police or troops available. London has many police and army units in barracks. The whole purpose of the Cobra system of incident management is to call up any armed response that may be needed in the light of the special circumstances of the attack. The government would have at its command all the security forces and armed forces resources here in the UK.

    1. JJE
      November 16, 2015

      London may have army units in barracks, but do Manchester or Birmingham or Glasgow? Unfortunately the best way to respond quickly to these atrocities is to have many more police who are routinely armed. I know it goes against fondly held ideals but the times have changed.
      I would actually prefer this to the current situation. etc ed

      1. Anonymous
        November 17, 2015

        10 men armed with Kalishnikovs in a mediums sized UK town.

        They could easily take out all of the population of that town AND the police response that attended it. (We are told by a police commissioner today in the Express that police weapons and body armour are no match for automatic Kalashnikovs – the jihadist’s weapon of choice.)

        ISIS claims that 4000 jihadists have made their way to Europe among the boat people from Syria.

        We know that 450 of our own jihadists have returned from Syria and are at large.

        The type of assault I describe could happen many times over.

        The main problem will not be the terrorism itself but the destabilisation of our government as the people realise that they have been utterly betrayed and put in danger by the criminal disregard of our political leaders and politicians.

        We have been telling them for over a decade that it would come to this.

        1. Iain Gill
          November 20, 2015

          In northern Ireland during the worst of the troubles the army rules of engagement prevented them returning automatic fire with automatic fire. They were ordered to stay in semi automatic single shot mode. Although against Isis hopefully no such nonsense would be tolerated.

    2. Anonymous
      November 17, 2015

      Reply to reply: I hope that the scenario of 5 ‘Michael Ryans’ rampaging through a smaller city or town has been considered.

      This country is not just London. Both police and soldiery are undergoing cut backs and the police are reluctant to bear arms since the recent prosecutions of firearms officers over the shootings of known violent criminals.

      Serious money now has to be considered in these areas as a similar attack to the one mounted in Paris could be far more prolonged and less easily contained in Britain.

      The figures for armed police officers speak for themselves. Our paltry 6000 to 280,000 of theirs.

      We are woefully unprepared by comparison.

      I understand the good work of our intelligence services but it will not take long for radicals to cotton on to the fact that all they need is guns, a car and to stay off grid throughout their planning (of which there won’t need to be much anyway.)

      Thank you for your explanation but it inspires me with no confidence at all.

      Don’t the French have helicopters and command/security and armed forces too ?

  14. Sean
    November 16, 2015

    Doesn’t this just go to show how stupid British and Eu politicians really are.
    I remember hearing something from Mr Farage years ago stating that what has happened
    Will come to pass, yet the Eu and Britsh politicians call him every name under the sun. You may like him or not, but everything he has said on mass immigration and lack lustre boarder controls has come true. The Eu and British politicians should hold your heads in shame. Government work for the people and should protect the people as a number rule, yet you fail. All pro Eu that support no boarders have blood on there hands.

    1. Anonymous
      November 17, 2015

      Sean – The greatest threat to Britain is her appalling levels of education.

  15. Denis Cooper
    November 16, 2015

    “Under EU law all EU countries are deemed to be safe, so any claim for asylum should be inadmissible unless there are exceptional circumstances.”

    As far as I know that’s not true for Greece; both the ECHR and the ECJ have ruled in the past that conditions for asylum seekers in Greece are so poor that they cannot legally be returned there, and I haven’t seen anything to say that has changed.

    “ECHR Condemns Greece for Inhumane Migrant Treatment”

    “EU court issues ruling against Greece for ‘inhuman treatment’ of refugees”

    “The Court ruled that a refugee from Iran who had arrived in Germany from Greece should not be returned to the Greek authorities because he would “face a real risk of being subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment”.”

    On the other hand the EU Commission recently declared that Turkey is a “safe country of origin”:

    “EU: Turkey is ‘safe country of origin'”

    “The European Commission has described Turkey as a “safe country of origin” because it’s an EU candidate country. The phrase refers to countries whose nationals can be quickly returned if they demand asylum in a member state. Bombs in Ankara killed some 100 people during a march on Saturday.”

  16. Ian wragg
    November 16, 2015

    Instead of more pointless laws on the statute book, how about enforcing the ones already there
    When are you going to remove the endless appeal system for illegals and failed asylum seekers.
    When are you going to supply accommodation to UK nationals to the same standard as that provided to immigrants.
    When will pensioners with 50 years national insurance payments receive the same as asylum seekers.
    I see your colleagues are going to support votes for 16 and 17 year old kids
    Just another bias for the remain contingent.

    1. Anonymous
      November 17, 2015

      Ian – The same 16 and 17-year-olds barred from buying penknives and matches because they are too immature.

  17. Bert Young
    November 16, 2015

    Tightening up on the immigration rules is all very well providing the EU keeps its fingers out of our pie . I fully expect that , one way or another , we will be forced to keep in line with whatever our European masters dictate and abide by the ECHR ; exporting any undesirable will then be impossible . This sort of restraint will continue until we are “Out” !.

  18. Roy Grainger
    November 16, 2015

    Waste of time. Even if refugees status is removed they’ll still be able to stay here under ECHR right to family life.

  19. Tim L
    November 16, 2015


    These measures are so sensible, I took for granted they already existed.

  20. DaveM
    November 16, 2015

    I hope the asylum rules are observed and that the failed asylum seekers are not just put in a house while they await deportation.

    I’m just waiting for the Germans, Greeks, and Italians (in their desperation) to start issuing passports. It’s only a matter of time. And it’s the key to winning the EU referendum.

  21. formula57
    November 16, 2015

    So as and when refugee status is withdrawn “if the protection is no longer needed” will we witness mass enforced deportation (applied retrospectively to those who claimed refugee status before this law?) or will we see instead mass reclassification to some other status that confers leave to remain in the UK?

    I agree it is progress of sorts, but timid and limited.

  22. Border Boy
    November 16, 2015

    This is all very welcome, but the big issue will be whether the Home Office is given the resources actually to deliver the outcomes which the changes to the Rules provided do what approach the Courts take to them.

    If previous experience counts for anything we can expect every letter of the new Rules to be challenged. The approach of the courts will be key. They have so far largely supported asylum claimants against the Home Office even where the claimant has lied or used deception to obtain their status. The thinking being that by its nature asylum is different from everything else. The view has been taken that claimants may have to lie to protect their lives. An immediately Human Rights challenge is likely and the Judges have not been slow, effectively, to neuter immigration legislation in previous cases where they have seen fit to do so.

  23. Ken Moore
    November 16, 2015

    Dr Redwood,

    What about the 450 known jihadis who left Britain to fight with ISIS in Syria. These people have been allowed to return here and live at liberty. Would the home secretary be happy to have these people living near to her – why is your government putting the ‘human rights’ of these people above everything else ?.
    Wouldn’t it just be easier and safer to deport them rather than making a futile gesture of attempting to ‘monitor’ them?.

    If citizenship can be given away at the drop of a hat..why can’t it be taken away just as easily?. It seems that your government is prepared to do ‘whatever it takes’ to ‘keep us safe’… so long as it doesn’t involve acting in a non politically correct way.
    I know the PC doctrine is beloved of the political classes but is it really worth dying for ?.

    I note that a petition calling for the closure of Uk borders until ISIS has been defeated has been signed by nearly 400,000 people ..will the government listen ?.

  24. Iain Moore
    November 16, 2015

    I cannot see these changes in the immigration rules surviving the first challenge by a human rights lawyer and judicial activist.

    I gather human rights lawyers are trawling the Calais jungle searching out migrants who they can get into the UK via family connections.

    Until you deal with the human rights act the Government is powerless to control who we allow into the country.

  25. Iain Gill
    November 16, 2015

    Unless you deal with the people Germany hands out visas and passports to then this is meaningless.

    At the moment anyone can turn up in Germany and get the paperwork to be a European resident, and a few years later a German passport.

    1. Dame Rita Webb
      November 16, 2015

      I do not think Germany is a problem. My understanding of their citizenship law is that to get it you must have a “blood” link to Germany. So a non German speaking Volga German gets a passport after arriving from Russia. However a Turk who has lived in Germany since the 60’s does not. Now Sweden is a different kettle of fish as someone from Leicester pointed out here a couple of days ago.

      1. Iain Gill
        November 17, 2015

        You are wrong. I know because I personally know Russians who got German passports simply by being in East Germany when the wall came down. As East German residents they simply queued up and were given German EU passports.

  26. Old Albion
    November 16, 2015

    What stops a terrorist who has been given ‘asylum’ in another EU country from coming into England?
    What stops a terrorist who arrives from (say) Lybia and claims asylum?

    1. Old Albion
      November 16, 2015

      No answers JR?

  27. English Pensioner
    November 16, 2015

    Anyone who is allowed into this country for any reason who is found guilty of any crime should be automatically deported. Australia does this, why can’t we?

    1. bigneil
      November 17, 2015

      Because we are the dumping ground of the world. Get here – “disappear” – stay here forever.

  28. Denis Cooper
    November 16, 2015

    “New rules highlight the fact that no national arriving from the EU can make an asylum claim.”

    Yes, but that refers to the nationals or citizens of other EU countries. It does not stop people who are not citizens of any EU country claiming asylum here after passing through other EU countries.

    So a French citizen cannot claim protection here because he is deemed to be adequately protected in his homeland, France, but a Somali citizen who has got as far as France can still claim asylum here in the UK if he manages to complete his intended journey.

    But this has long been covered by a protocol to the EU treaties, “Protocol (No 24) on asylum for nationals of member states of the European Union”, here:

    It seems this goes back as least as far as 1997, when it was Protocol (No 29):

    “Given the level of protection of fundamental rights and freedoms by the Member States of the European Union, Member States shall be regarded as constituting safe countries of origin in respect of each other for all legal and practical purposes in relation to asylum matters. Accordingly, any application for asylum made by a national of a Member State may be taken into consideration or declared admissible for processing by another Member State only in the following cases … ”

    reply The other cases are partially covered by the rule that they should apply for asylum in the first country they reach in the EU.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 17, 2015

      The other cases, which for practical purposes are ALL the cases, should be covered by that rule but it doesn’t seem to be working.

      In reality what difference will it make if the extremely rare asylum claims by French citizens are treated as being “inadmissible” rather than as being “admissible” but with a presumption that they are “manifestly unfounded”?

      And just how many asylum claims are made by citizens of other EU countries each year, to be treated in that slightly stricter way? A hundred? Five? None?

  29. stred
    November 16, 2015

    I am confused. These new rules seem to involve common sense, in which case who wrote the previous rules that allowed a person to travel from other safe countries to the UK as a matter of choice as best asylum destination? Also, there are international rules, agreed in different circumstances, and these are used by human rights lawyers, using legal aid, to challenge any home made rules and allow the claimant to stay here long enough to start a family and claim residency for this reason. What is to stop them continuing this racket?

    Even if the Home Office manages to determine that a ‘refugee’ is not entitled to stay and negotiates a return with the country of origin or nearby safe country, the civil servants usually charter a very expensive plane and send them back a few at a time. Will this sort of idiocy still be the norm?

    1. bigneil
      November 17, 2015

      If my memory serves me correctly – an American man claimed asylum here as he was on medication here (free of course) and he was a convicted drug dealer, who was going to be deported after his sentence. His claim was that he needed the medication to live, and if sent back, he wouldn’t be able to afford it, so needed to stay here and sponge off the English taxpayer’s contributions to the NHS. Despite him showing no concern for other people’s lives ( by his drug dealing) – HIS life was of concern to the courts – who allowed him to stay, with presumably, a house, benefits and continued healthcare on the taxpayer. Isn’t it nice that foreign criminals get more concern from our authorities than we do.

  30. BigD
    November 16, 2015

    Interesting – but will this change at all the way your Government treats the ‘asylum seekers’ that continue to sneak through the Channel Tunnel from Calais ? Do we have the holding facilities for them prior to their being returned (& where to, France?) & does this include the many unaccompanied ‘minors’ who have so overloaded Kent’s facilities – or will they continue to be driven up to 3 & 4 star hotels in the north by stretched limo ?

  31. sm
    November 16, 2015

    Well, these changes get a grudging nod of approval from me, but I can’t help feeling it’s a case of Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

    What is being proposed for the consequences of these new rules? Will we be able to deport the ‘undesirables’ ? Yes, you did just hear a snort of derision from many of us.

    Will we continue to stuff them into our inadequate and over-filled jails, further burdening the taxpayer?

    How will we respond to the siren voices of Corbyn’s supporters who will scream ‘human rights violations’ across the BBC, Channel 4 and The Guardian, Independent and Observer, aided by Shami Chakrabati?

  32. JoeSoap
    November 16, 2015

    This is all tinkering at the edges.
    Much safer to say unless we need you, goodbye.

  33. The PrangWizard
    November 16, 2015

    Sounds good, but full of holes, too many ‘ifs’ for example. How much does it apply in retrospect? To have proper weight and meaning the sentences in the second paragraph ought to have an extension ‘and the individuals will be immediately be required to be detained and removed from the country without delay’. Otherwise it’s just paper of course, and meaningless in practice.

    I presume the words are in prĂ©cis, but the removal aspect is important and the subject of much comment and concern on these pages. Are the words elsewhere and if so is there an unambiguous link? Are different ‘departments’ involved in the separate elements, ie. classification and re-classification, and removal, a very inefficient system if so? It’s foolish to give illegals long notice of their change of status. I can imagine a re-classification piece of paper in the ‘out tray’ and taking weeks or months to be seen by someone else’.

    I’d like to know where I can see a worked example of what happens now and one showing what will happen after these changes.

    If there are such inefficiencies I imagine the people concerned are simply ‘let out of the door’ so to speak, ‘sent a letter’, and they carry on as before and disappear. No real change.

    In the meantime we just get the government patting itself on the back and others telling us how everything is now going to be much better and we should not worry any more.

  34. graham1946
    November 16, 2015


    Do you think ‘changing the rules’ is sufficient.? We’ve been here before and the ambulance chasers, assisted by the Judiciary will seek to undermine or overturn it. Surely if the government is serious this whole thing needs some primary legislation. We recently had ‘change of rules’ about gypsy status, which is already being challenged. It seems that Ministers may wish to do the thing they and the public want, but are thwarted by the lawyers. I know it takes time, but Ministers seem to have very little actual power do do anything much these days. Perhaps stopping lawyers getting paid for this sort of thing might be the simplest way, rather than bringing in new laws and rules. all the time. Then we’d see who is in for the justice and who just for the money.

  35. Kenneth
    November 16, 2015

    The mind boggles. Surely these rules should have been in place all along.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 16, 2015

      As the protocol I mention above has been around since 1997 I cannot understand why the relevant part of the changes, ie not normally granting asylum to the citizens of other EU member states, has not been in place since then; so how many cases have there actually been of, for example, French citizens fleeing persecution in France and being given sanctuary in the UK?

  36. Original Richard
    November 16, 2015

    I thank Mr. Redwood for informing us of changes to immigration rules, although to be honest I thought these were already in existence.

    But what in practice is meant by “refugee status will be withdrawn” or “that no national arriving from the EU can make an asylum claim” ?

    Will it mean they are no longer entitled to work, to welfare or to be treated by the NHS ?

    Will it mean that they will be deported ?

    Or is it just another status to be used like “British Citizen” or “British Resident” ?

    1. matthu
      November 16, 2015

      Instead of being classified as a refugee they will become stateless and homeless.

      They will no longer be included in any of the usual lists e.g. lists of the unemployed or those on the housing list, or asylum seekers waiting to be processed or legal migrants.

    2. JoeSoap
      November 16, 2015

      All weasel words and pretty meaningless.
      Do you notice the applause anybody who speaks straight gets from the 90% these days? That just has to translate into real votes and this whole LibLabCon well-meaning socialist charade will be gone.

  37. Paul Cohen
    November 16, 2015

    The Schengen accord was always a contentious arrangement, liable to buckle under pressure, there not being even cursory border checks which could at least netted some undesirables. To reduce numbers it should be broadcast that no one who have destroyed their papers or unable to prove their identity would be able to proceed. This is no time for fine-tuning.

    I read that the odious Claude Juncker has been sounding off at being ” let down ” by various elected governments and haranguing them for not sharing his vision – he who has never been elected (not by anyone we would recognise anyway), and should now be
    told to button up forthwith.

  38. miami.mode
    November 16, 2015

    “….New rules highlight the fact that no national arriving from the EU can make an asylum claim. Under EU law all EU countries are deemed to be safe….”

    As it’s extremely unlikely that asylum claimants will have come from anywhere other than the EU, then surely asylum is virtually obsolete in the UK.

    I also recollect reading recently that Greece has been deemed unsafe either by the EU or UN (I can’t recollect which) due to “austerity measures” and consequently migrants are completely free to move to other countries in the EU.

  39. Daisy
    November 16, 2015

    Free movement means the right to move to another EU country for work. There is no reason why it has to mean the right not to be asked to verify identity at national borders – not when in most EU countries it is a legal requirement to carry an identity card at all times, and failure to produce it on demand a criminal offence.

  40. Martyn G
    November 16, 2015

    Better than continuing with the present sclerotic arrangements and having almost every decision overturned by the ‘yuman rights courts and brigades I suppose, but what springs to my mind is – stable door? Loosely bolted. Horse? Long gone!

  41. Iain Gill
    November 16, 2015

    Hows comes Brits who have been out in Syria on the side of Isil are not in prison for treason or some such?

    1. backofanenvelope
      November 16, 2015

      As they return they should be arrested, interrogated and interned. If they have been involved in the fighting, then they should be handed over to the Syrian or Iraqi governments for possible trial for murder.

      1. Iain Gill
        November 17, 2015

        A number of them appear to brag on the web about what they have been up to.

  42. The PrangWizard
    November 16, 2015

    An excellent piece by Charles Moore today on the Telegraph pages.

    How many years has it taken people like us to get the mainstream to say these things? And as he says how many more people have to die before we are taken seriously and something effective is done to defend us. Otherwise we will have to take to arms to defend ourselves.

    It will be blood on your hands Mr Cameron and all your supporters, politically correct posturers and hangers on.

    1. stred
      November 18, 2015

      They are not too worried about the likes of us taking up arms. They are counting upon time and DNA degeneration.

    November 16, 2015

    “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is a cute proverb . Dire consequences can await countries who push this bad translation. In fact, the Paris murders go some way to emphasise the folly.

    The Rt Hon Theresa May is in Parliament as I type and has just reassured an SNP MP that the 100 Syrian refugees entering Scotland today are victims and not a threat to us.

    Very well, she may well be right. In this she will of course know the moral values, the political views, the likely change in political views within the Syrian individuals’ political landscapes. She will know what cultural and religious forces within the UK will gradually change the refugees’ mindsets. She will know who will be the leader of Syria post President Assad. She will know if Mr Corbyn or herself will be Prime Minister here, for sure. She will know whether the Syrian refugees in the future will agree with the British recognition of a future Syrian Presidency. She will know they as Syrians will not turn on the new Syrian President and not turn on we British and murder us like the “Born in France ” and “Born in Belgium” Muslims some of whose parents were refugees. She will know because she is a part-time Fortune Teller whose tent-name is Mystic Theresa.

  44. Eric
    November 16, 2015

    Owen Paterson is apparently getting ahead of the game.

    He has already made his intentions entirely clear, prior to the CfB meeting.

    Quoted in The Telegraph, he says: “The renegotiation process is effectively over and I will be focusing on campaigning for Britain to leave the EU.”

  45. Dennis
    November 16, 2015

    “It will be withdrawn if the protection is no longer needed.”

    Even after 50, 60 years?

  46. Gina Dean
    November 16, 2015

    This does not mean a thing as soon as they come before our judges all rules go out the window. Our judges seem to have their own agenda.

  47. APL
    November 16, 2015

    JR: “The government has just changed the Immigration rules again ..”

    Now you need to change the firearms regulations too.

    Did anyone notice how one sided the confrontation in Paris was?

    The criminals and terrorists will always have access to weapons, because they do not care about the law.

  48. DaveM
    November 16, 2015

    I’ve seen French flags everywhere the past couple of days.

    Haven’t seen many EU flags.

    1. Anonymous
      November 17, 2015

      You didn’t see an EU flag at the Tory Party conference either, Dave.

      You’d think proEU Tories in a proEU Tory party would be proud to display it. And if not- why not ???

      1. Denis Cooper
        November 17, 2015

        They did in the past, on the backdrop to the platform for at least one national conference, that of 1984.

  49. DaveM
    November 16, 2015

    If only we could get your last sentence through to Cameron.

  50. bluedog
    November 16, 2015

    Sensible and timely measures, Dr JR, that will help reduce the additional economic burden of the global mass of demographic claimants to the benefits of Britain. It is to be hoped that your government will not be afraid to publicise these initiatives.

    There is no doubt that a political earthquake is in the making across Europe. The emergence of Jeremyn Corbyn within Labour attests to this development within the UK. Outsiders are suddenly being seen as the solution to problems and needs that the existing governors do not recognise or do not manage effectively. Corbyn represents a shift to the Left, and as such is the promoter of policies that have already failed in the post-war period. It follows that Corbyn’s appeal to the centre is negligible, he only appeals to a hard core of true believers within the extreme Left.

    The trend in events suggest that the populace is becoming very anxious indeed about the presence of a notorious fractious demographic within the polity. Relations seem to have broken down irretrievably and divorce looms. Talk of a healing partnership with the demographic in question is ridiculous, one cannot form a partnership with people whose values and objectives are the antithesis of your own. Managing that impending divorce is a matter of the highest importance for your party and your government. The possibility of an outsider on the extreme Right emerging cannot be discounted and your policy initiatives must pre-empt that outcome.

  51. Monty
    November 16, 2015

    “…no national arriving from the EU can make an asylum claim….”

    What does that mean? What do you mean by “national” in this context? Everybody is a national of some place or other.

    If you mean an EU citizen, then they don’t need to make any asylum claim- they get to stay here anyway.
    If you mean a non-EU immigrant- they only need a citizenship bestowed by some other EU country and they get to come here and stay here too.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 17, 2015

      In this context it means the citizens of other EU member states, so the change means that (for example) if a French citizen tries to claim asylum in the UK then his claim will now be given slightly shorter shrift than before.

  52. David
    November 17, 2015

    “Refugee status will be withdrawn if someone obtained that status by deception”
    How will it work for people who in the past e.g 10-12 years ago got refugee status and UK passport by deception? I know someone who did this under Blair and would quite happily report her, if it this were retrospective.

  53. David
    November 17, 2015

    We need also to stop people who are here illegally from becoming legal. When we do that there will be no incentive for illegal immigration which is what we have at the moment.

  54. ChrisS
    November 17, 2015

    Again, Cameron is tinkering.

    Although his strategy for supporting Syrian refugees in surrounding countries is so obviously right, the EU and particularly Merkel, show no signs of adopting it. Despite serious misgivings by a majority of EU Member, States, Hollande and Merkel seem to be happy for the mass influx to continue and other countries do not appear to be willing to stand up in public and demand it be stopped. As a result, Merkel seems to be calling all the shots unchallenged.

    Once migrants have made it to Britain, it will be impossible to make the EU country they came from take them back. We are seeing this in Dover where the French refuse to take back stowaways from Calais who legally should all have claimed asylum in Turkey, Greece, Italy or France.

    Surely the key question for Britain is what are the intentions of Brussels and Berlin in respect of those that have already been admitted without background checks ?
    The numbers are so great that upwards of 1m have already made it into Europe and, despite the oncoming winter, at least another 200,000-500,000 are already on their way.

    In the spring the numbers looking to start on the journey will be enormous. By the Autumn of 2016 we could possibly be talking about a total of 2-3m having made it into the EU. No more than 25% of them will be genuine Syrian refugees.

    1. Negotiations with Turkey and African countries about the majority who are economic migrants are not going well so is there any realistic prospect that Europe can prevent such a huge number of economic migrants arriving, let alone deport them ?

    2. Of those that remain in the EU, are they going to be allowed to bring their families to join them ? This is a vitally important question because 1m-2m could easily become 6m-10m.

    3. Are these huge numbers of people then going to be allowed to settle in Europe permanently and will they be given EU passports ?

    These are serious issues for Britain, even though we are outside Schengen. With an EU passport they will all be entitled to settle here and nothing in Cameron’s laughable “renegotiation” is going to prevent them : If they are granted passports and just 10% of those ALREADY in Europe choose to come the the UK, that could double the number of new migrants arriving here in one year.

    I suspect that the official silence on these issues means that Merkel, despite objections from her CDU partners, is intending to solve her labour problem by granting at least the Syrians refugees permanent residence. Under FOM they would then be entitled to settle anywhere in the EU.

    Of course, Cameron and all the other Europhiles here would rather these questions remain unanswered but British journalists and politicians should be demanding answers now.

    Before our people are asked to vote in the referendum they need to know exactly what the consequences might be.

  55. Handbags
    November 17, 2015

    Absolutely right.

    Our political masters want an electorate who can’t fight back and the parasite sector wants a defenceless host to feed on – that’s why we have gun control today (it would be more accurate to call it population control).

    Obviously no one would be in favour of criminals or lunatics having guns – but honest citizens, with the appropriate training, being able to defend themselves their families and community is not an outrageous concept.

  56. bigneil
    November 17, 2015

    Cameron wants his reward of a seat in Brussels, for the total destruction of this country and the annihilation of its people.

  57. Lindsay McDougall
    November 21, 2015

    My short response to this blog appears to be still under moderation.

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