Theresa May and the French President Emmanuel Macron have committed to speeding up the process by which refugees in France are able join family in safety here in Britain. This will see waiting times decrease from 6 months to 1 month for adults and down to 25 days for children.
The Sandhurst Treaty, signed on Thursday 18th January, also announces the British government’s investment of an extra £44.5m into British border controls based in France.
You can read the Treaty in full here.
Dr Lisa Doyle, Director of Advocacy at the Refugee Council, said: “We warmly welcome the commitment made by the British and French governments to speed up the process by which people desperately wanting to reach their relatives are able to do so. Unaccompanied children and adults have been waiting in limbo and often terrible conditions for far too long, even though they were entitled to join their relatives in the UK.
“It is vital that any measures taken by Governments to protect their borders, including those that form a part of this Treaty, do not prevent refugees being able to seek protection or reach loved ones in the UK through safe routes. Changing rules around Refugee Family Reunion is a prime example of where improvements can be made and we urge the government to widen the definition of family members who are eligible to reunite under these rules so that more people are not forced to risk their lives in order to reach safety.”