By the turn of the millennium there was concern about the number of people applying for asylum in the U.K. Then-Prime Minister Tony Blair promised to reduce the number of asylum seekers, and by April 2005 he could proudly announce that he had supposedly ‘succeeded’ when he claimed: “Asylum applications have fallen from over 8,000 a month to just over 2,000. The next set of statistics will show that monthly application are back to their lowest level since March 1997.”
How did Blair accomplish this apparent miracle of effective Government? As the chart below (from my 2008 book Squandered: How Gordon Brown is wasting over one trillion pounds of our money) shows, Blair did it by showering migrants with British citizenships provided they didn’t try to seek asylum.
Our current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has promised to “stop the boats” and to cut the 175,000 or so backlog of asylum seekers currently costing us probably more than £10m a day in accommodation, security, medical care, pocket money and other costs. I hardly need to comment on how successful Mr. Sunak has been in stopping the boats. So let’s look at how Rishi Sunak is cutting the backlog of asylum claimants.
First, here’s a chart of the percentage of asylum claimants granted asylum by country in the EU: