Albanian migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats should not be automatically granted asylum as they are unlikely to be vulnerable at home, MPs say.
They are fleeing a “safe country” and there is no clear basis for routinely accepting residency applications, reports the Special Committee on Home Affairs.
It states that Albania is not at war and is an EU candidate country.
Of the 45,755 people who crossed the English Channel last year, 12,301 were from Albania – compared to just 800 in 2021 – and most applied for asylum.
MP Dame Diana Johnson said: “Such a significant sudden surge in asylum applications from a seemingly peaceful country was understandably a cause for concern.”
While it is important that questions are asked and lessons learned, it is clear that the immigration picture is not static and will evolve.
“Changes in migration inevitably place a strain on any system, but government needs to do much more to ensure it is better able to manage these strains.”
“It will continue to draw people from Albania to the UK while the country continues to offer job opportunities and higher wages.
“The UK should explore ways to improve access to work visa schemes to fill our skills or staffing gaps while providing a route to higher income for Albanian nationals that will benefit both nations.”