Author: Kate Whitfield
HOME Secretary Priti Patel’s plans to overhaul the post-Brexit asylum system in the UK have been torn apart as recent data shows the new rules are already failing
New data published by the Home Office on Thursday, March 3, shows the inefficiency of asylum rules brought in after Brexit. This comes as the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, suffered a major blow on the same day as the House of Lords rejected controversial asylum and nationality measures within her Nationality and Borders Bill, described by the Government as the answer to the UK’s immigration system problems
According to the data, new rules brought in after Brexit that were designed to deter the number of people coming to the UK seeking asylum have hardly had any impact at all.
The rules stated that asylum seekers might not be considered for refuge if they travelled to the UK “through a ‘safe third country’,” or “have a connection to a safe third country where you could claim asylum”.
But the Home Office figures show that just 11 people have been deported under these rules since they came into force after the UK left the EU.
A total of 64 individuals were served with “inadmissibility decisions, meaning the UK would not admit the asylum claim for consideration in the UK system, because another country was considered to be responsible for the claim, owing to the claimant’s previous presence in, or connection to a safe country”.
The figures also show, however, that the number of people seeking asylum in the UK was higher than ever in 2021, beating figures seen during the 2015 EU migrant crisis and exposing the sheer volume of people around the world fleeing persecution.
In 2021, a total of 28,526 people arrived in the UK via “small boats” – a term used to identify “irregular” entry to the UK via “vessels used by individuals who cross the English Channel, with the aim of gaining entry to the UK without a visa or permission to enter”.
These are most commonly rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs), dinghies and kayaks, bringing asylum-seekers to British shores in some of the most dangerous possible conditions – at least 44 people died or went missing in 2021 attempting to enter the UK this way.