Undocumented Migrants: English Channel

Home Office written question – answered on 4th August 2022.

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Photo of Lord Rosser Lord Rosser Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Transport)

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 11 July (HL1285), whether they consider as a matter of policy that all asylum seekers travelling to the UK from France have done so unlawfully and are therefore unable to claim asylum; if so, on what grounds; and how many individuals seeking asylum after crossing the English Channel in small boats have been granted asylum in each of the last five years.

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

Asylum seekers who travel to the UK from France either commit a criminal offence of entering the UK without leave under section 24(B1) of the Immigration Act 1971, or of arriving in the UK without an entry clearance under section 24 (D1), depending on their method of entry or arrival. In line with the Kakaei and Bani judgments, those who are rescued and brought ashore (the majority of those crossing the channel in small boats) are deemed to have arrived without permission

The Home Office are able to provide the total number of individuals seeking asylum after crossing the English Channel in small boats who have been granted asylum in each of the last four years, from 2018-2021. However are not able to provide information prior to this date as there were no small boat crossing attempts.

Year of Arrival

Granted Asylum

2018

148

2019

727

2020

1548

2021

56

Total

2479

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