§ Tony Worthington
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to increase the percentage of applications for asylum at ports of entry. 
§ Beverley Hughes
[holding answer 23 January 2003]In order to give advance publicity to the implementation of section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, I made a Ministerial Statement on 28 November 2002 and issued a press release on the same day. The press release was issued to foreign media in this country and those abroad in countries where we receive a high number of asylum applicants. A further press release was issued on 7 January 2003, and this triggered extensive media coverage here within the UK.
In addition, posters advertising the change in policy have been displayed in the arrivals hall at the major ports and airports since 10 December 2002. Copies of the posters have also been displayed in Voluntary Sector Offices, such as Migrant Helpline and the Refugee Action Project.