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Immigration Controls: EU Nationals

Question for Home Office

UIN HL816, tabled on 7 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the increase in the number of EU citizens refused entry to the UK in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

Answered on

21 June 2021

While international travel is disrupted due to the pandemic, we have updated our guidance to clarify overseas nationals, including EU citizens, who have been refused entry to the UK and are awaiting removal should be granted immigration bail, where appropriate.

Overseas nationals seeking entry into the UK at this time must not only comply with the requirements of the Immigration Rules, but the prevailing Border Health Regulations set by the UK and Devolved Governments relating to the global pandemic. Failure to comply with the health regulations can also see entry refused.

Detention of a person may be appropriate in some cases, including to keep the public safe. Border Force treat all arrivals with respect and consider each passengers situation on an individual basis to check everyone entering the UK has the right to do so. Most people detained under immigration powers spend only very short periods in detention.

Home Office publish transparency data figures, can be accessed via published data in the link below: Immigration Enforcement data: February 2021 - GOV.UK (

The latest data on enforced returns (of which ‘deportations’ is a subset) are published in the returns summary tables(opens in a new tab). The data include the number of returns which occurred from detention. More detailed breakdowns, including nationality breakdowns, can be found in Ret_D01 of the Returns detailed dataset(opens in a new tab) .

The Home Office seeks to return people who do not have any legal right to stay in the UK, which includes people who:

  • enter, or attempt to enter, the UK illegally (including people entering clandestinely and by means of deception on entry);
  • overstay their period of legal right to remain in the UK;
  • breach their conditions of leave;
  • are subject to deportation action; for example, due to a serious criminal conviction and
  • have been refused asylum.

Data on the number of people entering and leaving detention are published in the Detention summary tables(opens in a new tab). Data on reason for leaving detention (including those ‘Returned from the UK’) are published in table Det_04a of the ‘Detention summary tables(opens in a new tab)’. F

Answered by

Home Office