Javid’s misleading claim about Britain’s refugee policy – Channel 4 News

“Since 2015, I think we have resettled the UK – through refugee programs – we have resettled more than 25,000 people, more than any other country in Europe.”

That’s what Health Secretary Sajid Javid told Sky News this week.

It is true that the UK has taken in more refugees through resettlement schemes than other European countries.

But if you thought this meant we would accept more refugees overall, you would be wrong. In fact, the UK is far less liberal when it comes to accepting asylum applications than many EU countries.

What is a refugee?

Before we get into the details, some terminology. We often hear the terms “migrant” or “immigrant”, “asylum seeker” and “refugee” used almost interchangeably. But we shouldn’t.

While there is no single definition of an expatriate or an immigrant, these are generally used as umbrella terms to describe someone moving from one country to another. This may include those who are moving for economic reasons.

“Asylum seeker” is a more specific term. Under the 1951 United Nations Convention, it refers to someone who is seeking protection in another country “without being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion”. because of a well-established fear” in his home nation.

If an asylum seeker is granted asylum, he is granted refugee status.

What is the rehabilitation plan?

Resettlement schemes are those where countries like the UK take in particularly vulnerable refugees who have fled to another country that cannot adequately care for them.

The International Rescue Committee explains that “in areas where they have fled – particularly those that host large numbers of refugees – people and families are often forced to live in camps or substandard shelters for long periods of time. “

The United Nations refugee agency gives the example of a family that fled Syria to Lebanon and eventually resettled in Sweden.

How many refugees has the UK accepted under resettlement schemes?

Since 2015, the UK has run six rehabilitation schemes, three of which are ongoing.

In that time, we have received over 25,000 refugees through programs – which Sajid Javid was referring to. As he said, this is more than what our European neighbors get through their equivalent policies.

Overall the UK is much less liberal

But resettlement plans are just one part of the asylum system. And when we look at the broader picture, we can see that the UK as a whole is much less liberal.

For example, Germany made more positive asylum decisions in 2019 alone (more than 70,000), while Britain did in the six years from 2015 to 2020 combined (just under 66,000).

(“affirmative asylum decision” includes granting asylum as well as allowing someone to stay in the country on other humanitarian grounds).

And while 2020 saw some statistical quirks because of the pandemic, Britain was still a long way from being the most liberal European nation.

An analysis of EU and UK data by the House of Commons Library shows that: “In 2020, Germany made the most positive asylum decisions followed by EU countries (62,500), Spain (51,100), and Greece (34,300). lamps.”

The equivalent figure for the UK was 9,072.

And when we take into account population size, the UK falls even further down the list. As shown in this chart, the same analysis places the UK at number fifteen in Europe.

And it shows the UK is well below the EU average: “In 2020, the UK made a first positive asylum decision for every 10,000 people. Across the EU27. [the countries of the EU] There were 5 such grants for every 10,000 people.”

What does the government say?

A Home Office spokesperson told FactCheck: “The UK has a long history of supporting refugees in need of protection, and our resettlement plans have provided thousands of people with a safe and legal path to start new lives in the UK. Is.

“Since 2015, we have rehabilitated more than 25,000 refugees directly from areas of conflict and instability through safe and legal routes – more than any other European country. We recently launched the first year of the Afghan Civil Resettlement Plan. Committed to welcoming 5,000 people – and up to 20,000 in the years to come.

“Our new plan for immigration will fix the broken asylum system so that it is fair but firm, helping people in real need through safe and legal routes while deterring those who abuse the system.”

fact check decision

Sajid Javid said Britain has taken in more than 25,000 refugees through resettlement schemes since 2015, and this is more than any other European country.

That’s right, but it’s misleading because it omits an important fact: that resettlement plans are just one part of the country’s refugee policy.

When we look at the overall picture, we can see that the UK takes in far fewer refugees than many EU countries.

For example, Germany took in more refugees in one year (2019) than Britain in the six years from 2015 to 2020.

And per capita of population, we rank fifteenth out of 28 countries in terms of positive asylum decisions, and well below the EU average.

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