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EU THREAT TO BRITISH ASYLUM CRACKDOWN

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Government attempts to get tough on asylum-seekers are under threat from a European directive that ministers admit ...
Government attempts to get tough on asylum-seekers are under threat from a European directive that ministers admit is being pushed through unexpectedly by Portugal, at present presiding over the European union, reported The Sunday Times (p9).

Under the proposal, schemes such as replacing benefits for asylum-seekers with vouchers and incarcerating them in special detention centres would be outlawed.

The EU draft directive, which will be examined by the social affairs committee on 6 June, aims to outlaw discrimination against anyone on ethnic grounds in a member state, whether they are citizens of the EU or not.

In a private letter to MPs, home office minister Mike O'Brien admits the directive could frustrate the government's approach to asylum-seekers. 'The UK is seeking amendments to the current text', he wrote.
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