The backlog is at over 130,000 cases, the system is costing around £3.6 billion a year in asylum support costs, and the Home Office is gripped by institutional challenges. At the same time, the number of people arriving in small boats has escalated rapidly from the hundreds to the tens of thousands in the past five years.
The prime minister has pledged to ‘stop the boats’ as one of his five priorities for government. Central to the government’s plan is its flagship Illegal Migration Act – which will place a duty on the home secretary to remove irregular arrivals and not consider their asylum claims – as well as the agreement to relocate asylum seekers to Rwanda.
This briefing sets out the in-tray for the UK government in 2025 – after the next general election – across the main parts of the asylum system.