Reservations and Declarations for Treaty No.031 - European Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees
United KingdomDeclaration of suspension contained in a letter from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, dated 7 February 2003, registered at the Secretariat General on 7 February 2003 – Or. Engl.
Under the provisions of Article 7, paragraph 1, of the Agreement, the United Kingdom gives hereby formal notice of its intention to suspend on public order and security grounds the operation of this Agreement. This decision will come into force at 00.01 hours on Tuesday 11 February 2003.
The Home Secretary will on [7 February 2003] announce to Parliament that he intends to suspend the operation of the Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees of 1959. This decision reflects growing concern that the holders of 1951 Convention Travel Documents, issued by signatories to the Agreement, are travelling to the United Kindgom and either remaining illegally or making asylum applications in false identities in order to access the benefits system. This undermines the integrity of our asylum process, places an unacceptable burden on the system and diverts valuable resources from those in genuine need. There are also security implications for the United Kingdom if people remain in the United Kingdom illegally.
Period covered: 11/02/2003 -