Asylum claims from newly-arrived migrants has surged and have become ‘unacceptably high’ leaked Home Office document reveals
- Last year saw highest number claims since 2015, when 32,733 applications made
- Home Office declined to comment but said performance on asylum was ‘robust’
- Report came as immigration minister Caroline Nokes said more will be done to ensure illegal cross-Channel migrants are returned to France
The number of asylum claims from newly-arrived migrants has surged, leaked documents suggest.
Last year saw the highest number of asylum claims since 2015, the BBC reported, when 32,733 applications were made.
The documents say the numbers have become ‘unacceptably high, [risking] reputational damage to the Home Office and the asylum process’.
Last year saw the highest number of asylum claims since 2015, when 32,733 applications were made. Pictured are migrants on a boat trying to cross the Channel between France and Britain
The BBC report carried footage from over the Channel showing migrants trying to get on to the back of lorries bound for the UK – without challenge by police.
The Home Office declined to comment on the leak but told the Corporation its performance on asylum was ‘robust’ and applications had been broadly stable for the past 18 months.
The report came as immigration minister Caroline Nokes said more will be done to ensure illegal cross-Channel migrants are returned to France.
She gave no figures but said a ‘small number’ who made the journey at the end of last year had been sent back.
Sources revealed that ‘fewer than five’ were returned to France this week.
During a visit to Calais, Mrs Nokes refused to be drawn on how many migrants the Home Office plans to return.
The Home Office declined to comment on the leak but said applications had been broadly stable for the past 18 months
But she said: ‘We’ve already returned a small number and we are going to continue working to make sure that pressure is stepped up.’
She added the Government would not return people before ‘appropriate checks’ had been carried out on whether they have relatives in the UK.
Mrs Nokes met French interior minister Christophe Castaner at the official opening of a new UK-France Co-ordination and Information Centre.
It is designed to help both countries work together in the fight against smugglers and human traffickers.
Earlier this week Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced plans to spend more than £6million on new security equipment. The extra funding will be invested in CCTV, night vision goggles and number plate recognition cameras.
Additional security cameras will also be installed at French ports and in areas where migrants may try to board boats. Footage will be monitored live.