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Why Are These Refugees Being Processed For Asylum In Cyprus?

Posted on 3rd November 2015

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This BBC report shows that something is seriously wrong with Britain's attitude to refugees. The report describes how the refugees are unhappy, and are protesting, about their treatment. I can understand why.

These refugees seem to have been very clever (it could also have been an accident, but probably not) by arriving at a UK RAF base in Cyprus. The base is British sovereign territory, and according the the Dublin Regulation their applications for asylum should be processed by the UK, for residence in the UK. Now, however, they are being processed by Cyprus, for residence there.

I really do not understand how this can be. They want to live in Britain, and the rules say that is what they should be able to apply for. In addition, Cyprus is a small country, much more easily reached by refugees from Syria, and they therefore already have more than their fair share of refugees. Britain, on the other hand, is much harder for the refugees to reach, and because of this Britain has relatively few refugees.

I don't know what kind of legal manoeuvring the UK government has been making to side-step their responsibility to these refugees, but it seems to me that it is neither actually legal nor moral. It is time for Britain to step up.