Economic migrants have 73% chance of staying in EU even if asylum claim is rejected

The EU’s failure to return migrants to their home country once they’ve been refused asylum is fuelling the migrant crisis, senior Brussels diplomats believe.

Figures seen by The Times show an economic migrant has a 73% chance of remaining in the EU even if they’ve been served with an order to leave.

One EU diplomat working on migration said: “The inability of EU governments to enforce deportations is the biggest pull factor. If people know that as illegal immigrants they have a 70 per cent-plus chance of being able to stay, even if ordered to leave, then it is hardly surprising people get into the boats.”

David Wood, former director-general of immigration enforcement at the Home Office, said: “In reality the vast majority stay here, regardless of the merits of their application.”

Is Brussels finally about to wake up and realise what so many people have been saying all along? If migrants know they can enter Europe illegally and there’s a 73% chance they’ll be able to stay there, then they’ll keep coming in unsustainable numbers.