13 December 2022

British Red Cross responds to the Prime Minister’s announcement about changes to the asylum system

Christina Marriott, British Red Cross director of policy and advocacy said:

“The merits of someone’s asylum claim should not be determined by how they reach the UK. It is worrying that new legislation is already being planned so soon after the Nationality and Borders Act to prevent access to protection. We must hold on to our British values of compassion and humanity that has made our country a place of safety for people fleeing war and persecution. 

“Government should focus on addressing inefficiencies in the asylum system, especially the backlog, which would reduce increasing costs of the system and allow people to get on with their lives. Too many men, women and children have been waiting for years for a response to their asylum claim. They are not to blame for a pressured system, which leaves them in limbo, further impacting their mental and physical health.
“A third of people waiting for a decision are from countries where the overwhelming majority are recognised as refugees who are in need of protection, such as Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Eritrea and Sudan. Accelerating these applications would speed up the system and reduce the number of people left in limbo. Focusing on these practical efforts would help create a fairer, more effective system.”