What is the Dublin Regulation?
The Dublin Regulation (also known as Dublin III) is EU law setting out which country is responsible for looking at an individual’s asylum application. This is usually the country where the asylum seeker first arrives in the EU. The Dublin Regulation applies to EU Member States and Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The UK was bound by the Dublin Regulation until 31 December 2020.
In September 2020, the EU adopted the New Pact on Migration and Asylum after consultations with the European Parliament, Member States and others. The New Pact sets out that no Member State should disproportionately take responsibility but that all should participate.
In 2021, the UK Government announced plans to overhaul its asylum system. These plans have been met with criticism and concern from some EU Member States and the UN.
As the UK is no longer bound by the Dublin Regulation there are significant questions regarding whether the UK can return asylum seekers to the EU without a replacement returns mechanism. The UK Government has expressed its intention to agree bilateral deals with EU Member States for this purpose, however a number of EU Member States have said they will not agree to these.