This paper explores the evolving geo-political importance of Libya as a strategic partner for Britain and considers the way in which policies on migration have been used to cement the renewed relationship between the two countries. It considers in particular, the impact of the Memoranda of Agreement between the UK and Libya and the use of related readmission agreements to facilitate the return of Libyan nationals from the UK. It analyses some of the challenges facing Libyans seeking asylum and settlement in the United Kingdom and the prospect of their return to Libya in the light of the UK ‘s domestic policies on asylum and security interests regarding the ‘war on terror’. This study establishes a profile of Libyans currently in the UK and examines existing case law and Home Office guidelines to explain the conditions under which Libyans have been granted or refused asylum and subsequently removed from the UK to Libya. The main finding of this study is that the imperative of security cooperation has increased the likelihood that more Libyan migrants will be returned from the UK and this poses a worrying scenario, especially given Libya ‘s record of refoulement and other human rights abuses. In the absence of a system for dealing with asylum inside Libya, returning Libyan nationals and transit migrants from neighbouring African countries are particularly vulnerable.
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