Asylum seekers and right to work


Sir, – The article “Ruling on asylum-seeker work to have big impact on Brexit talks” (May 31st), which canvassed the reaction to yesterday’s Supreme Court decision on the freedom of asylum seekers to seek employment, contains a fundamental misunderstanding. Asylum seekers in Ireland cannot enter the United Kingdom without a visa, if they require one. This is not changed by the Common Travel Area in any respect. The Common Travel Area would appear, in fact, to have little – if any – relation to yesterday’s decision.

Furthermore, in the United Kingdom, asylum seekers can apply to enter employment in sectors with skills shortages after they have been waiting for a decision on their initial asylum claim for in excess of 12 months.

As such, it is difficult to see how the Brexit negotiations will be complicated by giving asylum seekers in this jurisdiction similar freedoms to those enjoyed by their counterparts in the United Kingdom.

There is an element of scaremongering being encouraged by anonymous sources within the Government. This is probably to be expected, given that successive administrations over many years have resisted changes to the way asylum seekers are treated. It is nonetheless disappointing. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Is not amazing that an asylum seeker from faraway Burma can go to the Supreme Court and win the right to seek employment while Irish citizens in the PAYE system who suffer an injustice can only dream of going to court because of the ruinous expense involved?– Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.