BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - Britain would not join a possible EU common asylum system, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday (March 7), adding that his country would be affected by the migrant crisis even if it votes to leave the European Union in June.
"We have an absolutely rock-solid opt-out from these things. There's no prospect of Britain joining a common asylum process in Europe. We'll have our own asylum approach, our own way of doing things, keeping our borders," Cameron said on arriving for an EU-Turkey summit aimed at stemming the flow of migrants into Europe.
"Even outside the EU, we would be affected by a migration crisis like this. But at the end of the day we maintain our borders and our own way of doing things because we have the best of both worlds," he continued.
Under the EU's current asylum system, known as the Dublin rules and which apply to Britain, individual EU countries must register and process asylum claims on a national basis and that responsibility falls to the first EU state a refugee enters.
A future system could see the European Union centrally overseeing asylum applications - one of several ways proposed to prevent a repeat of countries like Greece and Italy handling hugely disproportionate numbers.
There are concerns in Britain that a revision to the Dublin rules could deprive Britain of the right to deport asylum-seekers to the state where they entered the EU. The EU executive is due to present proposals for reforms of the system next week.