§ Mr. Sheerman
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will investigate the reasons for the upward trend in the number of visitors to Britain refused entry in the first six months of 1986; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Waddington
[pursuant to his reply, 22 July 1986]: Comprehensive statistics of passenger arrivals, and of those refused entry, are not yet available for the first six months of this year. But it is already apparent that during this period there has been a significant increase in refusals. In the first three months of the year, just over 5,500 passengers were removed after being refused leave to enter, an increase of about 50 per cent. over the same quarter in 1985.
The increase is continuing. For example, in May and June at Heathrow and Gatwick there were increases in initial refusals of 130 per cent. and 89 per cent. respectively for Nigerian nationals compared to the same months in 1985, and 63 per cent. and 103 per cent. for Indian nationals. As there has been no change in the criteria employed by immigration officers in applying the immigration rules it is clear that increasing numbers of passengers who are ineligible, or who are likely to be ineligible, for entry under the rules are arriving at our ports of entry.