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How the EU's asylum policy affects us

The EU asylum system has come in for criticism recently, with some pressing for changes to be made.

We look at how the current system is set up.

Caution over free school performance claims

Today the Prime Minister announced he would “not waver” in his commitment to open 500 new free schools over the next five years.

The announcement claims that free schools are more likely to be rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted than other schools. This type of comparison is tricky.

Good neighbours: do free schools help others improve?

The Education Secretary claimed today that free schools “force existing schools to up their game”.

Research has found that near new free schools, bad schools tend to get better and good schools tend to get worse, but the evidence doesn’t prove that free schools are the cause.

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How many free schools are in deprived communities?

Based on the available data, just under 45% of open mainstream free schools are in areas ranked as in the 30% most deprived.

How much does the EU spend on promoting itself?

Business for Britain says that up to €3.9 billion of the 2014 EU budget could have been spent on self-promotion and propaganda. Is this accurate?

Police numbers: back to the 1970s?

It's claimed spending cuts could mean 22,000 fewer police officers in England and Wales. Would that put police numbers at their lowest since the 1970s?

Reporting on “fit for work” deaths isn’t fit for purpose

It's been widely claimed that thousands of people died within weeks of being found "fit for work". This is wrong.

DWP figures on benefit claimant deaths: what they do and don’t tell us

The Department for Work and Pensions have published data on the benefit claimant deaths. Read our guide to interpreting the figures.

Those “eight million foreigners” living in the UK

The number of foreign-born people in the UK has probably passed eight million, but that's not the same as the number of non-UK nationals. Just ask Boris.

Hospitals in the red: the size of the NHS provider deficit

NHS trusts faced an overall deficit of £830 million in 2014/15 and this is expected to rise to around £2 billion this year.

Please do not board this train: rail fare claims held at red signal

The TUC says rail fares have risen by 25% since 2010. This is correct but refers to regulated fares only rather than all fares, as widely quoted.

“Some immigration facts” … factchecked

A blackboard showing 'some immigration facts' has some basis in fact but either misunderstand the facts available, or gives a selective viewpoint on them.

Ask Full Fact: Europol and diplomatic immunity

Officers of Europol, the European Union's law enforcement agency, are not entitled to 'diplomatic immunity' from criminal prosecution.

What’s happening to high-skilled jobs?

The Shadow Chancellor says that the share of jobs classed as high-skilled fell in 2014. What's happening over the longer term?

UK public spending down to US levels by 2018/19

The summer 2015 Budget could see UK public spending drop to US levels within four years.

Pay for carers: will the ‘national living wage’ increase spending by £1 billion a year?

Some of the £1bn cost could be incurred anyway without the policy, and the figure rests on a lot of uncertainty. Other estimates even suggest higher costs.


UK asylum support doesn’t go as far as France

Comparisons are tricky, but it seems that the UK gives asylum seekers less cash support than many other European countries, adjusted for living costs.

A typology of caveats

A typology of statistical context that includes information and caveats that affect how we might otherwise interpret the figures.

England not named world’s second worst nation for child happiness

Research only looked at 15 countries, so can't tell us how England ranks worldwide for child happiness.


E-cigarettes on the NHS? Not so fast

Today’s review of the evidence on e-cigarettes puts NHS prescription on the agenda, but there's more to it than this one recommendation.


Evidence for 6,000 weekend deaths published

The Department of Health has published evidence behind its claim that 6,000 deaths could be prevented by a 7 day NHS.

DWP uses ‘made up’ claimants in benefits leaflet

A benefits leaflet published by the Department for Work and Pensions contained 'made up' claimants, which have now been removed.

Seven in ten free schools are in areas needing more school places

The majority of free schools are in areas expected to need more places. Many of them won't open with full capacity though.

Diagnosis unknown: how many diabetes cases go undetected?

GP practice registers show 3.3 million diagnosed diabetes cases in 2013/14, but the methodology and reliability of the undiagnosed figure is more uncertain.

Ask Full Fact: have 100 EU ‘powers’ been returned to the UK?

This is right if the '100 powers' are taken to mean specific legislative acts rather than more general EU competences.

FoI madness, but not as we know it

Recent experiences of how requests under the Freedom of Information Act are handled leave us cold.

Cash for asylum seekers: hard to say whether we give more

Media explanations about the rate of cash support for asylum seekers in France and the UK are comparing the wrong things - understandably, as it's complex.