“The biggest concern for most people is having controls over borders. We won’t have that while we are still in the EU.”
The statistics released yesterday by Eurostat gave fresh evidence of the unprecedented scale of the influx into the bloc.
A record 1,255,600 first-time asylum seekers applied for protection in the 28 member states – more than double the 562,000 lodged in 2014.
Syrians accounted for the highest number of claims, 362,800, double the 2014 figure.
The number of Afghans seeking refuge in the EU nearly quadrupled to 178,200 while applications by Iraqis increased seven-fold to 121,500.
Citizens of the three countries made up more than half of the total first-time applicants registered last year.
In Finland, some 32,150 first-time applicants registered in 2015 – a staggering rise of 822 per cent on the 3,490 recorded in the previous year.
The UK saw 38,370 claims, a 19 per cent hike on the 32,120 recorded in 2014.