The European Fee has rejected French president Emmanuel Macron’s name for an EU-wide settlement for migrants crossing the Channel illegally to be despatched again to Europe.
Brussels has no plans to barter a migrant return cope with Rishi Sunak, regardless of improved relations after the brand new Brexit agreement on Northern Ireland.
“The European Fee shouldn’t be envisaging an asylum returns agreement with the UK right now,” an EU official advised the Telegraph.
The Prime Minister and Mr Macron agreed a deal to tackle the small boats crisis, which is able to value the UK £470 million over the following three years, at a summit in France final Friday.
The French president insisted any returns deal must be made at EU stage, fairly than between Paris and London, as the 2 leaders tried to rebuild relations badly strained by Brexit.
The UK left the EU’s Dublin Regulation, which supplies the correct for nations to ship again unlawful migrants to the primary secure EU nation they landed in, at Brexit.
Brussels is liable for negotiating EU-wide agreements on behalf of its member states and is the one physique capable of strike a substitute return deal.
EU officers have now dominated out a deal for the quick to medium time period.
Mr Sunak has not given up hope on an EU returns settlement in the long run and hopes Paris can use its affect to sway Ursula von der Leyen, the fee president.
However the swift rebuff from Brussels dangers fuelling suspicions Mr Macron, an enthusiastic Europhile, solely referred to as for the deal to keep away from straight refusing to take Channel migrants again.
The fee’s place might change within the long-term, sources stated, however the brand new Windsor Framework for Northern Ireland has not modified minds in Brussels.
There’s additionally no nice push from different European capitals to demand that work begins on getting ready for migration negotiations with Britain.
Migration is likely one of the most divisive points within the EU, which might make getting capitals’ help for talks to start, not to mention for a deal itself, troublesome.
The EU has traditionally been reluctant to start out negotiations on a brand new migration deal in Brexit talks with the UK.
The fee’s negotiating mandate for the UK-EU commerce deal and the Windsor Framework didn’t embrace a brand new settlement on migration.
London has as a substitute been compelled to try to strike bilateral offers on migration with particular person member states. This has given transit nations reminiscent of France, Belgium and the Netherlands leverage to ask for more cash to combat the issue.
Brussels dismissed British requests for a brand new migration deal in the course of the 2020 free commerce negotiations. As a substitute it provided to have “common dialogue” over the difficulty.
“The UK […] expressed as a substitute curiosity in concluding with the EU agreements on the readmission of illegally coming into or residing individuals, and the switch of unaccompanied minor asylum seekers,” the fee stated on the time.
“Nonetheless, neither of those two subjects was lined by the EU mandate,” it added, earlier than noting, “the UK might want to method some member states bilaterally on these issues.”