UK one of the most popular destinations for refugees

Britain took in 12,510 refugees in 2009

Germans second by allowing in 12,055 refugees


21 June 2010: The UK is one of the favourite destinations for asylum seekers, resulting in an annual rise of 22 per cent.

In fact, Britain took in 12,510 refugees in 2009, as more asylum seekers came to the UK than any other country in Europe last year. Britain, top of the table, was followed by the Germans, who allowed in 12,055 refugees.

France bagged the third position by allowing 10,415 asylum seekers. Sweden was fourth with 9,085.

Even as the Government offered £6,000 to help them return home, more than a third of the total asylum seekers were from Zimbabwe, followed by refugees from Afghanistan, according to the latest figures released by the EU.

Head of immigration at the UK Border Agency Matthew Coats said the UK has a proud tradition of providing refuge to those in genuine need of asylum. Britain currently has the lowest asylum intake in two years.

Reacting to the figures, the campaigners have, on the other hand, held at fault Labour’s ban on deporting Zimbabwean asylum seekers back to the nation for their rise in the number.

Chairman of pressure group Migrationwatch UK Sir Andrew Green said it was a serious mistake to suspend removals to any country.

That has led to a rise in the number of applications, as in the case of Zimbabwe. It is essential to retain the principle that each case is judged on its merits.

UKBA on a hunt for organisers of sham marriages

Everything you want to know about employing migrants