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September 29, 2023
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Rishi Sunak tells MPs he will clear asylum backlog by end of 2023

PM says he has signed deal with Albania and will resume ‘hostile environment’ checks on bank accounts

Rishi Sunak has insisted he can clear a backlog of nearly 100,000 asylum claims by the end of next year as part of a set of policies that include resuming “hostile environment” checks on bank accounts suspended after the Windrush scandal.

The prime minister outlined a five-point plan in the Commons including law changes to criminalise and then remove tens of thousands of people who claim asylum after travelling to the UK by small boats, and a deal with Albania to aid removals to the Balkan state.

A small boats command, with an extra 700 staff from Border Force, the National Crime Agency and other agencies, to combat people smugglers and the surge in arrivals across the Channel.

An end to the use of hotels for more than 40,000 asylum seekers. They will be sent to disused former military bases, holiday camps and student accommodation.

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