10 Years of the Hostile Environment in Britain

May 25 2022 marks the 10th anniversary since then Home Secretary Theresa May announced the Hostile Environment policy for the first time. To mark this anniversary, we are cultivating the space for an in-depth retrospective on how this policy has affected the third sector, wider community cohesion and the individuals on the receiving end. We are also asking the question “Where to next?”.

Community partner showcases

Tracking the Hostile Environment

March 1

Digital status: handle with care!

The EU Settlement Scheme, the UK government’s first fully digital immigration system introduced to regularise the rights of EU citizens and their family members, was launched by the Home Office in March 2019. It’s a follow-on from Brexit, which ended freedom of movement and the right of people from the EU to come to the UK – and for UK citizens to go the other way.    
April 18

“Proud son of the Windrush”

The Windrush scandal saw the UK government apologise for deportation threats made to Commonwealth citizens’ children. Despite living and working in the UK for decades, many were told they were there illegally because of a lack of official paperwork.
June 23

“No Man is an Island”

The UK has voted to leave the EU by 52% to 48%. Leave won the majority of votes in England and Wales, while every council in Scotland saw Remain majorities.
May 25

“The aim is to create, here in Britain, a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants.”

In an interview for the Telegraph on 25 May 2012, then Home Secretary Theresa May announced a policy strategy aimed at combatting ‘illegal immigration’ by making life so unbearable for undocumented migrants that they would voluntarily choose to leave.