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Rate of asylum granted has doubled since Brexit


England grants asylum to a greater percentage of migrants than most European countries, official figures have revealed.

Asylum application approvals have doubled since Brexit, soaring to 75.1 per cent in the year ending September 2023, up from 31.1 per cent in 2018, analysis of official data by The Telegraph shows.

Britain has now climbed from 26th to seventh in a league table of the highest initial approval rates out of 33 European nations. Approval rates are now more than double that of countries including France (30.6 per cent) and Sweden (32.2 per cent).

Estonia (97.7 per cent), Switzerland (87.1 per cent), Ireland (83 per cent), Portugal (81.9 per cent) the Netherlands (81.7 per cent) and Lithuania (80.2 per cent) are the only countries to rank above Britain.

Britain is also ranked significantly higher than EU countries such as Italy (46 per cent) and Greece (52.9 per cent), which have both battled with a rise in illegal crossings in the Mediterranean.

It's believed that one of the contributing factors of Britain's rise in approval rates is down to not negotiating a new 'Dublin' returns agreement with the EU.

This has led to the UK rejecting fewer asylum seekers on the basis they have passed through a safe third country in Europe.

A source told the Telegraph: 'If there is the slightest chance that you were being persecuted in the country of origin, asylum caseworkers will grant them

'The asylum tribunals have case law which sets the threshold incredibly low and in a risk averse way that errs on the side of caution.

'The caseworkers in many respects are bound by guidance and this case law. What is the point of them flooding the tribunal with rejections that the tribunals are then going to overturn en masse.'

In stark contrast to Britain, Romania had the lowest approval rate at 14.4 per cent, with Cyprus (17.8 per cent), Malta (28.3 per cent), France (30.6 per cent), Iceland (30.9 per cent) and Sweden (31.4 per cent) following.

Before Britain left the EU, the 'Dublin' agreement meant asylum seekers could be returned to to 'safe countries'.

The rate has also rocketed in the past year as the Government introduced schemes to clear a backlog of cases. Rishi Sunak announced in December last year that more than 92,000 cases in the backlog would be 'abolished' by the end of 2023.

One of the results of this policy has been the surge in cases approved, including some nationalities which were made eligible for fast-tracking.

The number soared as civil servants rushed to meet the Prime Minister's target, with 22,614 awarded from July to September last year. Previously, the number was between 4,000 and 6,000 per quarter.