EU Nationals refused entry to UK increases to four times the 2020 total

Those from the EU who have been ‘stopped’ by Border Force increases by 1000%

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2022

Tighter border controls have been applied to EU Nationals since 1st January 2021

The Home Office is believed to be applying a more thorough approach in questioning arrivals from the EU regarding the true intentions for their visit, including looking for visitors who are actually seeking work without the correct documentation or the right to do so.

While illegal beach landings continue, new stats show firmer legal enforcement at official points of entry.

This is evidenced by a climb from 1,150 EU Nationals stopped at entry points in the first three quarters of 2020 to 12,515 in Jan-Sep 2021 – an increase of 988%. Indeed, the number stopped in the first quarter of Jan-Mar 2021 alone (3,294) was greater than the whole of 2020 (1,973).

The overwhelming majority of EU nationals stopped were Romanians (65% of the total), followed by Bulgarians (10%) and Poles (7%).

Numbers being stopped are rising each quarter

The new data shows the number of European Union nationals stopped at UK Border Control points of entry climbed by a third to 5,266 in the third quarter of last year, compared to 3,955 the previous quarter. Following interview, the number of those being refused entry increased fourfold over the previous comparative period.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Home Office figures for border 'stops'

1. Top 10 EU nationalities stopped for questioning, 2021 Q1-Q3

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2022 - click to enlarge

2. Increase in border 'stops' of EU Nationals since Referendum

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2022 - click to enlarge

Being ‘stopped’ means being officially questioned, not necessarily being refused entry

The term ‘stopped’ does not mean denial of entry but it does involve official questioning, generally in a separate room.

The Home Office said:

“Data on passengers initially stopped at the border count instances where an IS81 form has been issued. This enables a Border Force officer to temporarily stop someone at the border for further questioning, usually for up to 24 hours, to determine whether they qualify for entry, or if they already hold leave, whether that leave should be cancelled.

“This will include individuals stopped for very short periods, and not all individuals will have been detained in a holding room. Some of those initially refused will subsequently be granted entry to the UK, others granted entry with immigration bail conditions, while others will be refused entry.”


Figures for those refused entry altogether at points of entry are only available for the first two quarters of 2021, but these too show a significant increase against the previous year; rising from 1,547 in Q1-Q2 2020 to 6,411 Q1-Q2 2021 – 414% of 2020’s figure.


Britain's 'tourists' from Bucharest

One notable point that arises from the statistics we have analysed is the proportion of Romanians in the EU total (65%). Readers might be surprised that so many Romanians are apparently visiting the UK for a ‘holiday’, compared to other EU nationalities.

After all, Romanians only make up 4.4% of the EU27’s population...

The immigration question continues, more than five years after the Referendum

The Home Office and the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, have come in for a great deal of criticism throughout 2021 for the growth in human trafficking of illegal immigrants using inflatable dinghies between France and the south coast of England.

Facts4EU has covered this issue extensively here and here but today, due to the release of new data we are able to look at the legal points of entry and can report a firmer approach is being taken to questioning the purpose of those entering the country.

Home Office statistics are available for citizens arriving from every country in the world, but the section that is most open to change is EU nationals, as they were previously allowed entry mostly without questioning so long as they had some identity to facilitate travel.

The changes to the rules from 1 January 2021, whereby EU nationals must have appropriate documentation is now being applied by Border Control and resulting in a far greater number of people being stopped for more detailed questioning of their genuine purpose. Some are eventually allowed to proceed but others are set various conditions and others refused.

The fact that the number of EU nationals being stopped in the first three quarters of 2021 is six times those stopped in the whole of 2020 suggests a tighter control of the country’s borders is in fact beginning to happen. The up-to-date statistics for refused entry have not yet been officially published but they too show a significant four-fold increase. For this Priti Patel deserves some recognition, as do the hard-pressed staff of Border Force – many of whom have been seconded away from airports to the south coast.

Having better secured the legal means of entry the UK Government now has to step up the processes of preventing the illegal breeches taking place.

Hopefully for all those who operate properly by due legal process, only to see others flaunt it and then be given special treatment, the Government will be able to show real progress in 2022.

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[ Sources: The Home Office | Border Force ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Tues 11 Jan 2022

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