Dutch MPs still await report on Marrakech pact legal implications

Mark Harbers arrives for Friday’s cabinet meeting. Photo: Laurens van Putten / HH

A long-awaited report on the legal implications of the controversial UN migration pact will not be finalised until the week of the Marrakech meeting to sign the plan, junior justice minister Mark Harbers has told MPs.

‘I cannot give a concrete date,’ Harbers said in answer to questions from FvD MP Thierry Baudet. ‘But I realise that the meeting in Marrakech is on December 10 and that if MPs want to discuss it, it will have to be in the previous week. I am doing my best.’

Dutch MPs are divided on the pact which aims to regulate the treatment of migrants worldwide, and which was approved in July by all 193 member states except the United States. It is due to be signed in Morocco next month.

The pact aims to reduce illegal migration, boost the integration of migrants and make it easier to return them to their home countries by stimulating countries to work together. The provisions are not binding and that countries are free to set their own immigration policy.

The pact was prompted by the waves of migrants fleeing to Europe and the west to escape conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

In the Netherlands, the anti-immgration PVV, fundamentalist Christian SGP and right-wing populist FvD are opposed to the pact. Earlier this week, Baudet sent 100 questions on its provisions to Harbers, which he said showed what a bad deal it is.

Australia, Israel, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria have all refused to sign the pact, saying it will weaken their own immigration controls.

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