Unlike many societal trends, the arrival of asylum seekers hasn’t seen any visible impact from the coronavirus pandemic – in 2020, 8,466 people arrived in the UK via small boats. In 2019, that figure was 1,843. In 2018, it was 299.
There were 18,766 formal applications for asylum in the fourth quarter of 2021 — that’s 141 percent more applications than the same period in 2020, and 89 percent more when compared to the same period in 2019.
In total in 2021, there were 48,540 asylum applications in the UK, 63 percent higher than the previous year.
The numbers of people applying for asylum in the UK in 2021 were “substantially higher than levels seen prior to the [coronavirus] outbreak”, the Home Office said.
The figures also show that just 2,380 people were forcibly returned to another county in the year ending September 2021.
This is a 35 percent yearly drop, and the lowest number on record.
Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, said: “It comes as no surprise that [the] Home Office statistics show that the UK, along with our European neighbours, has seen an increase in asylum applications in 2021.
“Where there is war, conflict and violence — there will be people desperately seeking safety.
“It is important to recognise that seven out of 10 men, women and children arriving in the UK are found to be fleeing bloodshed and persecution, the likes of which is unfolding in Ukraine, and so are granted protection.”