VVD members demand clarification about the asylum deal: ‘A chicken without a head policy for years’ Inland

In a conference center in Driebergen, State Secretary Van der Burg (Asylum) and VVD Member of Parliament Brekelmans gave text and explanation to dissatisfied party members about the asylum deal of the coalition parties. This has ’caused the necessary discussion among all four parties’, acknowledged Van der Burg. “We have not done business well, the VVD certainly plays a role in that.”

Some liberals demand that the House of Representatives and the State Secretary do more to limit the asylum influx and to prevent coercion. “Just admit that otherwise coercion will soon be possible,” said VVD alderman Paul Slettenhaar from Castricum.

Member of Parliament Ruben Brekelmans.

Member of Parliament Ruben Brekelmans.

In the asylum deal it was agreed to allocate a higher percentage of social housing to asylum seekers with a residence status. 730 million euros is also being earmarked to relieve the pressure on the reception. The cabinet also announced that it would come up with a bill within a month that could force municipalities to provide shelter.


There is criticism of that bill from the VVD supporters, also because the faction has always strongly opposed it. “It’s been a chicken-without-a-head policy for years,” said a liberal from the audience. “The VVD party is waiting far too long for a response to coercion,” another gasped from the audience. “You should have come back from recess to speak out against that.”

Force is not a structural solution for us, responded Brekelmans. He acknowledged that the agreement contains parts that the VVD is not happy about. “These coalition parties have positions on asylum that are miles apart, that is the political reality.” The Member of Parliament emphasized that the faction has not yet committed itself to the bill that would lead to coercion.

There is also criticism of measures to limit the influx. According to Brekelmans, ‘measures must be reconsidered if this package does not appear to work’. He acknowledged that it was five to twelve. “The current influx is unsustainable. The influx is one and a half times higher than before corona. You can see that the system is bursting at the seams on all sides.”

There is more dissatisfaction from the VVD supporters. Critical liberals find it unsatisfactory that Prime Minister Rutte sold an asylum ban on Friday as impossible, while it is included in the VVD election program as an emergency measure. “Then we have to leave the European Union,” Rutte said.

According to Brekelmans, the VVD has ‘always been open’ about such an asylum stop. “Our election program literally states ‘EU regulations must also be adjusted for this’. We have always been open about that,” says Brekelmans. “Unfortunately, there is no agreement on this within the EU and as a country you cannot unilaterally withdraw from existing EU treaties.”

According to liberal sources, who were involved in drafting the election deal, passages about rigorous asylum measures entered the program at a time when it was hoped for necessary steps with like-minded EU member states. However, they have so far been omitted.

It is not only the VVD that strongly criticizes the asylum deal. Members of the CDA are now also discussing the government’s asylum and migration policy. They especially criticize their political leader Hoekstra, who, in their view, wrongly shifts the responsibility for the problems to asylum seekers, they say in a letter to the party leadership. CU will soon organize a members’ meeting to discuss developments in the asylum crisis. According to CU chairman Van Tatenhove, ‘many intensive conversations have been held with people within the party in recent days’.

The asylum portfolio has been dividing coalition parties VVD, D66, CDA and CU for some time. According to one person involved in the most recent negotiations, the parties often want the opposite. The compromise reached on Friday is not yet finished. In the autumn, the parties and the State Secretary want to come to a fundamental review of asylum policy. Coalition partners in particular fought each other in the past when it came to such fundamental changes, as a result of which they were always parked.