Thank you for writing to me about child refugees and family reunion. I have read your email carefully and noted the key points that you raise.
I strongly believe that we need to do all we can to help the world’s most vulnerable people. The UK granted protection to over 7,700 children in 2019, and to 42,500 children in the past decade.
The Government places great importance on ensuring that unaccompanied children who are seeking international protection in an EU Member State can continue to be reunited with specified family members who are in the UK, as well as children in the UK with family in the EU, following the UK’s exit from the EU.
It is also important to note that the UK will continue to reunite unaccompanied children with family members here in Britain under the Dublin Regulation during the implementation period, processing and deciding all ‘take back’ requests that have been submitted.
The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Act required the Government to lay a statement before Parliament on its policy regarding any future arrangements between the UK and the EU regarding the family reunification for unaccompanied children seeking international protection. You may be reassured to know that the Government made this statement in March, and I was glad that Ministers clearly outlined how the UK believes British withdrawal from the EU does not alter our commitment to this vital issue.
At the first round of the negotiations on the UK-EU future relationship, which also took place in March, our negotiating team outlined the UK's proposals as published in the document ‘The Future Relationship with the EU – The UK’s Approach to Negotiations’. In that document the Government has clearly stated its commitment to negotiate a reciprocal agreement in this area. I understand the EU is now considering the UK's proposals.
For more information please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/our-approach-to-the-future-relationship-with-the-eu
As I say, I believe in the principle of family unity and protecting vulnerable people, and I support the Government in its stated commitment to negotiate a reciprocal agreement with the EU.
Thank you again for writing to me about this important matter.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking