Migration Watch UK responds to the government’s legacy backlog claim

Migration Watch UK responds to the government’s legacy backlog claim

January 03, 2024

Today, the Home Office claims to have not only cleared the original 92,000 'legacy' asylum backlog but exceeded it, processing 112,000 cases. However, a closer examination of the numbers paints a less flattering picture:

  • In 2023, 112,000 asylum cases were processed, but only 77,019 ‘substantive’ decisions were made. These are cases where an asylum claim has been accepted or rejected.
  • Non-substantive decisions relate to claims that may be void, suspended or withdrawn.
  • The asylum decision grant rate for 2023 is at 67% (72% in 2021), slightly lower than in previous years but still notably high (34% in 2016). To provide context, France experienced a seven-percentage-point decline in its asylum approval rate, dropping from 32% to 25% between 2016 and 2021.
  • Of the 77,019 substantive decisions in 2023, 51,469 were asylum grants and 25,550 were refusals.

In response to these figures, Chairman Alp Mehmet of Migration Watch UK commented:

The government is playing fast and loose with the figures. The public will not be fooled by smoke and mirrors. The UK's 67% grant rate stands as a lenient exception compared to most of Europe and almost three times the rate in France. We also haven’t been told where the 25,550 who were refused asylum are now. Does the government even know where they are? The Home Office may have moved a few papers from the pending to the out-tray by giving thousands the benefit of the doubt but they have not done anything to dissuade other migrants from getting to the UK by whatever means they can, including in a small boat

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