Feb 9, 2023 by Foresight

How the government plan to ‘Clear Asylum Backlog’ by the End of the Year

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is taking an aggressive stance against those illegally entering and seeking asylum in the UK. He has laid out a 5-point plan which includes removing thousands of people who have entered the UK without following the legal asylum procedure, as well as a deal with Albania which is designed to stop migrant landings on UK coastlines. The deal will also aid prompt removal of any Albanian migrants living illegally in the UK.

Sunak is also quoted as saying “it is frankly absurd that today illegal immigrants can get bank accounts which help them live and work here, so we will restart data sharing to stop this.” He intends to crack down on migrants who entered the UK illegally or by “irregular means” being able to open a bank account by data sharing with banks.

The reforms are being met with some resistance from tory MPs, opposite political parties, and charities and organisations in place to support those seeking asylum in the UK.

Reform met with significant opposition

The UK government's proposed asylum reform has been met with significant opposition from various groups, including human rights organisations, immigrant advocacy groups, and members of the public as well as MPs.

The reforms, which were announced in 2022, aim to change the country's asylum system to make it faster, fairer and more efficient and reduce the number of people living in the UK illegally. However, there is a concern that new regulations and laws will result in a reduction in support and protection for those seeking asylum in the UK, and that having access to legal help for asylum seekers will become increasingly difficult.

Asylum seekers being places in unsafe living conditions

The BBC recently reported that over 100 charities are urging the Prime Minister to stop placing asylum seekers who are under the age of 18 in hotels after over 200 children went missing.

“Dame Sara Thornton, the UK's former Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, said it was known that organised crime groups targeted vulnerable children, and asylum-seeking children were at "great risk of exploitation and trafficking. My real fear is that the boys will be locked into cannabis farms, they might be working in county line drugs distribution and the girls may be forced into sex work",” says the article from the BBC posted just a few days ago.

Charities and organisations also argue that those who enter the country via small boat or by another illegal channel are still at risk of persecution, harm, or even death if they are sent back to their country of origin and that sending them could put lives at risk.

Why might people enter the country illegally?

Amnesty International explains how many individuals are forced to flee persecution or human rights violations such as torture. Millions flee from armed conflicts or other crises or violence. Some no longer feel safe and might have been targeted just because of who they are or what they do or believe – for example, for their ethnicity, religion, sexuality or political opinions.” People escaping these types of situation would often rather face legal consequences but feel they are in a safe place than be deported back to a life-threatening situation.

The asylum backlog

According to The Guardian, there is currently a backlog of upwards of “143,377 people awaiting an initial decision on their application and unable to work,” and that Sunak has pledged to "triple the number of asylum applications will be processed to clear asylum claims, with a doubling in the number of caseworkers."

The PM has also claimed that the government “will introduce new legislation to make unambiguously clear that if you enter the UK illegally, you should not be able to remain here. And furthermore, if our reforms on Albania are challenged in the courts, we will also put them on a statutory footing to ensure the UK’s treatment of Albanian arrivals is no different to that of Germany or France.”

There are many legal changes taking place regarding asylum in the UK which will have a significant impact on immigration law. Foresight’s expert panel are here to support you and your client and will help navigate the complexities of any immigration case.


We know that immigration law is a sensitive and complex issue – and as these cases can often involve ill treatment of the individuals involved, our experts are well-versed in the Istanbul Protocol.

As one of our clients, you can rest assured knowing our expert witnesses are highly experienced and qualified in these kinds of cases – and with our comprehensive panel ready to deliver valuable insights for your case, we’ll save you valuable time and money.

The experience and knowledge of the Foresight team and our Expert Panel allows us to truly understand what it takes to deliver a timely, accurate report as well as paint a convincing picture of evidence to present in court.

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