LONDON (dpa-AFX) – The number of asylum applications in Great Britain has risen to a 17-year high. The Home Office in London said on Thursday that 37,562 people had sought asylum in the twelve months to September. This is nearly a fifth more than the same period the previous year and also slightly higher than the number from the peak of the refugee movement in 2015/16. More applications were last submitted in the twelve months to June 2004.
The British government has significantly tightened immigration rules after Brexit. Human rights activists criticize that since then there have been no opportunities for refugees to enter the country legally. Home Secretary Priti Patel is a thorn in the side of unregulated immigration. In order to deter immigrants, the conservative hardliner wants to tighten asylum laws even more. According to their plans, people who enter the country illegally should not be allowed to apply for asylum.
However, the number of people who entered the country illegally via the English Channel this year is three times the number of people who entered the country illegally in 2020 as a whole. On Wednesday, at least 27 people drowned when their rubber boat capsized off Calais./bvi/DP/mis.