EU figures show that in 2014 Europe received 626,00 asylum applications including:
United Kingdom 32,000
These figures include refugees from Ukraine and the Balkans as well as Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa.
In absolute numbers, a total of almost 104,000 persons were granted refugee status in the EU-28 in 2014 (first instance and final decisions), nearly 60,000 subsidiary protection status, and just over 20,000 authorisation to stay for humanitarian reasons. So around 25-30% of applicants were allowed to stay legally in the EU.
It is worth noting that the total population of the EU is 500,000,000.
UN figures indicate that around 100,000 migrants made it to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea in the first half of 2015.
The press are having a field day and pumping up the rhetoric about swarms of migrants crossing the channel but has anyone bothered to look at the actual numbers involved and how many asylum seekers actually find refuge in the UK?
Given the level of asylum requests over the whole of Europe (and yes the numbers will have increased in the current year) we need to ask the question why do we make such a big deal over 3,000 – 5,000 refugees in Calais? Should we not ask why we are only taking in half the number of refugees that France or Italy take in? Are we that worried by a few thousand more? Are we, as a nation, so broke or xenophobic that we cannot extend a hand of welcome to a few thousand more refugees? Are we losing our humanity?