Welcome to Britain: Fixing Our Broken Immigration System

How would we treat Paddington Bear if he came to the UK today? Perhaps he would be made destitute as a result of extortionate visa application fees; perhaps he would experience a cruel term of imprisonment in a detention centre; or perhaps his entire identity would be torn apart at the hands of a hostile environment that seems to delight in the humiliation of its victims.

Britain thinks of itself as a welcoming country, but the reality is, and always has been, very different. This is a system in which people born in Britain are told in uncompromising terms that they are not British, in which those who have lived their entire lives on these shores are threatened with the most unyielding of policies, and in which falling in love with anyone other than a British national can result in families being ripped apart. Here, citizens are called on to police each other, targets matter more than people, and death in detention centres is far from uncommon.

In this vital and alarming book, campaigner and immigration barrister Colin Yeo tackles the subject with dexterity and rigour, offering a roadmap of where we should go from here as he exposes the iniquities of an immigration system that is unforgiving, unfeeling and, ultimately, failing.

An incisive and compelling analysis of how muddled political thinking has caused our immigration laws to go so badly wrong, and what must be done to reform them. Highly readable and cogently argued, a copy should be put on the desk of every tabloid editor and every MP.

–The Secret Barrister

Successive governments have allowed the UK s immigration laws to become ever more incomprehensible and increasingly unfair, confident that few will understand what is happening and even fewer will care. Colin Yeo understands the law better than most and cares very much indeed. As well as providing a highly readable account of what the law is, he offers his own vision of what it should become.

–Joshua Rozenberg QC

Colin Yeo presents us with a forensic examination of the UK’s labyrinthine, costly and dehumanising immigration system: a must-read.

Maya Goodfellow, author of Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Became Scapegoats

Excellent … delivers a powerful critique of the failings of the system and offers meticulously well-informed and realistic proposals for reform. Yeo is the perfect guide for a tour of Britain’s broken immigration system


This is a brilliant and urgently necessary book. Colin Yeo writes piercingly about the chaotic cruelty of Britain s immigration system and offers meticulously well-informed proposals for reform of the Home Office. He strips away with lawyerly precision the nonsense which informs so much of our toxic debate on immigration. Packed with chilling accounts of lives ripped up by the Home Office, this is an intensely disturbing read.

–Amelia Gentleman, journalist

About the Author

Colin Yeo is a barrister, blogger, writer and campaigner based at Garden Court Chambers in London. He also edits the Free Movement website www.freemovement.org.uk. He worked for two charities assisting refugees and migrants before becoming a barrister and continues to act in all sorts of immigration cases, from asylum claims to family immigration and business work. He regularly assists journalists with immigration stories, has appeared on broadcast media on several occasions and has given evidence to parliamentary committees. A keen walker and occasional climber, he is based in Bristol in the United Kingdom.