Home Office written question – answered on 26th October 2020.

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Photo of Lord Roberts of Llandudno Lord Roberts of Llandudno Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reduce the number of people awaiting a decision on their asylum claims.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department

Asylum Operations has been exploring several options to get the system moving again following the outbreak of COVID-19 earlier in the year. There are plans to speed up asylum interviews and decision making with steps being taken to improve efficiency, focusing on process improvements, better quality decisions and transformation.

We are also seeking to put in place temporarily, resource from within the Home Office and other government departments to assist with outstanding claims, along with other alternatives as a short-term measure.

We are determined to fix our broken asylum system. An asylum system should provide safe haven to those fleeing persecution, oppression or tyranny. But right now, ours enables organised criminals to elbow the most vulnerable to the side.

Which is why the new system will be fairer and firmer. It will be compassionate towards those who need our help, welcoming people through safe and legal routes. And it will stop the exploitation of the broken system by those who come here illegally and often make unfounded or meritless claims to remain.

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