On Monday a member of the House of Lords asked this important question and he received an answer which indicates some of the data for refugees in Europe. The person who asked the question is Roger Roberts who is the Liberal Democratic Lord of Llandudno who I have a great deal of respect for. His question was answered by Susan Williams who is the Baroness of Trafford and a Government Minister. Sadly her response was something very few other Tory MPs seem to be aware of based on what happened earlier in the week. Here are the question and the answer and it is very important for us to be aware that amongst the Europe locations, our nation has only had the fourth largest number of refugees. The fact is that France has nearly 3 times as many refugees as our nation and there is one other nation (One assumes Germany) that has even more refugees than France does.
Roger: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment, if any, they have made of how the number of people applying for refugee status in the UK compares to the figures for (1) Greece, (2) Italy, (3) Spain, and (4) France.
Susan: The Home Office publishes information on asylum in the Immigration statistics quarterly release. Section 2.2 of the ‘How many people do we grant asylum or protection to?’ chapter includes international comparisons on the number of people applying for asylum in the UK and in the EU+ (as published by Eurostat).
There were 37,235 people (applicants and their dependants) who applied for asylum in the UK in the year ending June 2021 (the latest comparable statistics available). This is less than France (87,180) and Spain (67,425), but higher than Italy (24,885) and Greece (24,275). When looking at the EU+ and UK together, the UK received the 4th largest number of applicants, or 8% of the total asylum applicants across the EU+ and UK combined over that period (France and Spain received the second and third largest).
Asylum applications in the UK and the EU have declined in the latest year, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the fall in applications seen by the EU+ (the EU, EEA and Switzerland) (-21%) was steeper than the decline in applications to the UK (-9%).
The number of applications to the UK has remained fairly stable in the last 5 years in comparison with the EU, where application numbers have fluctuated more.