David Cameron faces fresh EU turmoil over asylum rule change
David Cameron faces a new battle with the European Union over expected changes to the way asylum seekers register in the bloc.
The rules dictating that refugees must register for asylum in the first EU country they arrive at look set to be abolished by the European Commission, according to the Financial Times.
Such a change could leave northern EU states such as Britain more open to migrant flows.
According to the paper, proposals to change the so-called ‘Dublin’ regulation will be put forward by the Commission in March, which argues it is “outdated” and “unfair”.
The news comes at a bad time for Mr Cameron, who hopes to secure a deal on his EU renegotiation in February.
Meanwhile, David Cameron is set to tell European leaders that EU trading rules with Jordan must be relaxed in a bid to help refugees fleeing Syria.
The Prime Minister said he hoped to improve the work chances of refugees from the war-torn nation by assisting the surrounding countries hosting them with “concrete steps”.
Mr Cameron heads to the World Economic Forum in Davos today and on Friday will discuss practical ways to increase economic trade in Jordan with business and political leaders as well as Jordan’s Queen Rania.
He will also suggest allowing Syrians to set up businesses in refugee camps and establishing designated zones where investors would be required to employ a minimum number of refugees.
Speaking ahead of Davos, Mr Cameron said: “We need to agree concrete action that will give hope to so many – jobs so they can provide for their families, and education for their children.
“The EU has a vital role to play – coming together to offer genuine support for Syria’s neighbours. We should swiftly agree to change the rules so Jordan can increase its exports and create new jobs.
“These steps will provide real benefits to refugees in the region now, as well as enabling them to play a leading role in Syria’s reconstruction in the future.”
He added: “This is not just in the interests of Syria and her neighbours. It is in the interests of Europe too.
“The more we do to enable people to stay in the region, the less likely we are to see them coming to Europe.”
Mr Cameron will also call for increased investment in Jordan at preferential rates from international finance institutions such as the World Bank.
Elsewhere, ministers from coalition countries are set to discuss the intensification of airstrikes against Islamic State.
A meeting in Paris will see defence ministers from the UK, the US, Germany, France and others come together.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon will say the coalition had “made strong progress in recent weeks”.
“Now the campaign is moving into a new phase where we aim to systematically dismantle Daesh’s (also known as the Islamic State group) structure and capabilities,” he will add.
“That means striking harder at the head of the snake, with an increased focus on infrastructure, lines of communication and supply routes.”
Mr Fallon will also announce the deployment of nearly 1,000 troops to Poland for Nato exercises.
A further 1,000 personnel will be sent to Nato’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in 2020, he is set to say.
Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph says the United Nations has given approval to Western countries to carry out air drops over besieged Syrian towns without permission from the Assad regime.
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