Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Keir Starmer

“I’m ensuring that the only way to come to the UK for asylum will be through safe and legal routes”

PM Rishi Sunak, X Post

Facts

On 7 August Prime Minister Rishi Sunak posted a video to X outlining five things he is doing “to stop the boats”. Fifth on the list was making sure that “the only way to come to the UK for asylum will be through safe and legal routes”.

As Full Fact pointed out, the Government has said previously that it will create safe and legal routes to travel to the UK for asylum as they “get a grip on illegal migration”. 

However, as Full Fact also pointed out, there are currently no safe and legal routes by which to travel to the UK for the purpose of claiming asylum. 

There are no visa routes available for this purpose, and it is not possible to apply for asylum in the UK without being physically present here. 

The Illegal Migration Act, which received Royal Assent, becoming law, on 20 July, has also made asylum claims by people who arrive in the UK “in breach of immigration control”, including by crossing the channel in small boats, inadmissible

Verdict

There are currently no visa routes available for the purposes of travelling to the UK to claim asylum, and it is not possible to apply for asylum in the UK without being physically present here. 

The UK does operate some safe and legal routes for the purpose of providing humanitarian and other forms of protection to vulnerable people, but these do not involve being granted asylum by the UK. 

Rishi Sunak did not pass to his two million Twitter followers the relevant context that there are currently no safe and legal routes by which to travel to the UK for the purpose of claiming asylum.  Far from “ensuring that the only way to come to the UK for asylum will be through safe and legal routes” Rishi Sunak has made them impossible.

We emailed Rishi Sunak’s office and Downing Street offering them the chance to respond. The email was received, but no reply. 

Published 28 Jun 2024
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