How is Priti Patel planning to change the UK's asylum system?

Home secretary says proposals will be biggest overhaul of system in decades

The home secretary, Priti Patel, says her immigration proposals amount to “the biggest overhaul of the UK’s asylum system in decades”.

Here we take a look at the key measures being put out for consultation:

  • Asylum seekers deemed to have arrived in the UK illegally will no longer have the same entitlements as those arrive in the country via legal routes. Even if their claim is successful, they will be granted temporary refugee status and face the prospect of being indefinitely liable for removal.

  • The government wants to amend legislation to make it possible to move asylum seekers from the UK while their asylum claim or appeal is pending. This will keep the option open, if required in the future, to develop the capacity for offshore asylum processing.

  • For those who have been deemed to have arrived illegally, access to benefits and family reunion rights could be limited.

  • The appeals and judicial process will be reformed to speed up removals of those whose claims are refused.

  • The home secretary will be able to offer protection to vulnerable people in “immediate danger and at risk in their home country” in exceptional circumstances. It is thought this will be used to help a small number of people.

  • The system will be made “much harder for people to be granted refugee status based on unsubstantiated claims” and will include “rigorous age assessments” to stop adult migrants pretending to be children. The government is considering the use of bone scanners to determine age.

  • Life sentences will be brought in as a maximum penalty for people smugglers.

  • Foreign criminals who breach deportation orders and return to the UK could be jailed for up to five years instead of the current six months.

  • A new one-stop legal process is proposed so that asylum, human rights claims and any other protection matters are made and considered together before appeal hearings.


Jamie Grierson Home affairs correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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