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Undocumented Migrants: Coronavirus

Question for Home Office

UIN HL5036, tabled on 2 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many illegal migrants coming to the UK via France were apprehended by UK authorities (1) since the COVID-19 lock-down began, and (2) in each month since May 2018; and what percentage of those apprehended in each of those months have been successfully repatriated.

Answered on

16 June 2020

We do not routinely publish the information you have requested, we are unable to provide this information, as it could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The number of migrants arriving in the UK crossing the Channel by small boats for the months of January to March 2020 is approx. 450.? These are provisional figures based on operational management information. The figures for April and May have not passed through a data quality check and cannot be assured. The final figures for all months will be published at a later date, once they have been verified and fully quality assured.

The UK continues to work closely with France and other countries to return migrants who have entered the UK by small boat in order to provide a strong deterrent against these dangerous crossings.

Since January 2019, over 155 people who entered the UK illegally on small boats have been returned to Europe. However, as a result of COVID-19 the vast majority of EU member states have temporarily paused accepting returns under the Dublin Regulations, but we are tracking those individuals and where appropriate will seek to return them when routes are available

It is the policy of this Government to return those not in need of protection.

The majority of countries who are signatories to the?Dublin?Regulations which governs the return of those seeking asylum in the UK to a third country have announced temporary suspension of transfers to and from all EU Member States due to the Corona virus.

Returns?to third-countries can still take place where there is a suitable route of return.

We are ready to resume?Dublin?returns?as soon as travel restrictions are lifted

The Home Office publishes data on the number of asylum seekers transferred under the Dublin regulation in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ ( Data on the number of asylum seekers transferred out of the UK under the Dublin Regulation, broken down by the EU member state they have been transferred to are published in tables Dub_D01 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets ( Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending December 2019.

Please note, that we do not publish the breakdowns of the nationality of those being transferred under the Dublin regulation.

Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the ‘summary tables’ (attached). The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on asylum and resettlement.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’ (

Full guidance on Dublin III Regulation was published on 30/04/2020 and can be found via the link below:

Answered by

Home Office