The Truth about Channel crossings and the impact of the Illegal Migration Act - Refugee Council

The Truth about Channel crossings and the impact of the Illegal Migration Act

In this paper, we analysed new Home Office statistics which show that three in every four of the people who have crossed the Channel in the first 8 months of 2023 would be recognised as refugees if the UK Government processed their asylum applications. This is higher than the Refugee’s Council previous analysis of those who made the journey in 2022, which found it was almost two-thirds.

The statistics also show that:

  • More than half (54 per cent) of those who have made the perilous crossing come from just five countries – Afghanistan, Iran, Eritrea, Syria and Sudan.
  • With the exception of Albanians, the number of people crossing the channel is higher in 2023 compared to 2022.

Analysis based on the data shows that once the Illegal Migration Act 2023 comes into force:

  • Each year, over 27,000 refugees who cross the channel will be denied status in the UK.
  • As few as 3.5 per cent of those people arriving by small boat, 1,297 people, will be removed from the UK to their own country.
  • 35,409 people who arrive in the UK by small boat could be left in limbo each year, having had their asylum claim deemed permanently inadmissible but not having been removed.
  • Even with a safe third country agreement in place with Rwanda which allows for up to 10,000 people to be removed there annually at least 25,409 people will be left in a state of permanent limbo each year.

Read the full paper to understand more about what the data tells us about those crossing the Channel, and what the true impact of the Illegal Migration Act could be.