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  1. Video content

    Video caption: How Ukraine’s stealthy sea drones strike Russian targets

    Over long distances and with powerful explosive payloads, Ukraine's water drones are proving highly effective.

  2. How many people are prosecuted over illegal working?

    BBC Verify

    The government has announced a tripling of fines for firms employing illegal migrants or renting out property to them.

    The government says its visits to companies, including those targeting illegal working, were “at their highest levels since 2019, up 50% on last year”, resulting in arrests of “more people in 2023 than during the whole of 2022”.

    But Labour says the number of penalties issued to firms employing workers illegally has fallen by two-thirds since 2016, arrests have dropped, and illegal working visits are down by over 1,000 on 2019.

    Who is right?

    If you compare the number of fines to earlier years, there has been a 70% drop in penalties issued to employers since 2016. In 2016, there were 3,089 fines recorded, and in 2022 there were just 911.

    There has also been a drop in the number of illegal working visits by Immigration Enforcement - a Home Office body responsible for tracking immigration offenders. In 2022, there were 3,735 visits by officials, down from 5,937 in 2019.

    However, the number of arrests resulting from these visits has indeed been rising in 2023.

    Up to July this year, there have been 3,959 arrests - more than in the whole of 2022. But this is still significantly lower than the 6,723 arrests recorded in 2019.

  3. How many asylum applications does the UK get?

    BBC Verify

    As we've just been reporting, the number of migrants in hotels has increased by 3,000 since March - so how many asylum applications does the UK get?

    In 2022, more than 89,000 people requested asylum in the UK.

    That’s the highest number of applications since 2002 when 103,000 people (including dependants) applied, as people fled conflicts in Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq.

    Applications then fell sharply, dropping to a 20-year low in 2010, before climbing again as refugees fled Syria.

    See how numbers have changed over the years here:

    Chart showing numbers of people seeking asylum in the UK - the figure for 2022 was the highest since 2002
  4. How many asylum seekers are male?

    BBC Verify

    As we've just recapped, those on the Bibby Stockholm will all be men between 18 and 65. So how many asylum seekers are male?

    The latest Home Office data shows that of the 91,047 people who applied for asylum in the year ending March 2023, 62% were adult men aged under 50.

    Most of the people crossing the Channel in small boats are men. They made up 87% of small boat arrivals in the year ending March 2023. The majority of them claimed asylum.

    Two of the new migrant accommodation sites announced by the government – in Lincolnshire and Essex – are for adult men only. The government has not said who will be accommodated at the other confirmed sites in North Yorkshire and Sussex.

  5. How many asylum seekers are currently in temporary accommodation in the UK?

    BBC Verify

    At the end of March 2023, there were more than 47,500 asylum seekers living in hotels across the UK.

    The Home Office says using hotels to accommodate asylum seekers costs about £6m a day.

    Nearly 3,000 more were living in other short-term accommodation.

    The largest number of asylum seekers receiving government support - more than 56,000 - are living in longer-term housing known as “dispersed accommodation”.

  6. Where are asylum seekers in the UK coming from?

    BBC Verify

    Bibby Stockholm is part of the government's latest plan to "stop the boats" and deter dangerous Channel crossings by migrants. But where do people seeking asylum in the UK come from?

    Chart showing where asylum seekers in the UK came from in 2022. Albania was top of the list with 15,925,, followed by Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq.

    In 2022, nationals from Albania were at the top of the list of countries seeking asylum in the UK, with nearly 16,000 people, including dependants. Two-thirds of them arrived on small boats.

    The government calls Albania a safe country and has announced measures to try to reduce these numbers.

    The second largest group, with just under 11,000 applications, came from Afghanistan, followed by Iran, Iraq and Syria.

    You can read more about it here.

  7. How long will asylum seekers be on board?

    BBC Verify

    Those on board Bibby Stockholm will be housed there while they wait for their asylum applications to be processed, so how long could they be waiting?

    In 2021, the average wait in the UK was 15.5 months, according to the Oxford Migration Observatory think tank.

    This does not mean the men will be on the boat for that long, as their applications are already being processed.

    By comparison, the average wait for an aslylum decision was 8.5 months in France, 6.5 months in Germany and just over three months in Austria.

    The delay in the UK has created a backlog of more than 172,000 people. The prime minister has pledged to clear, by the end of 2023, 92,601 asylum cases logged before June 2022.

  8. Was Starmer right to say Khan legally had to reduce pollution?

    BBC Verify

    Keir Starmer

    Following last week’s by-election in Uxbridge, Labour leader Keir Starmer pointed out that Sadiq Khan is legally required to reduce air pollution.

    Opposition to Ulez was seen as the deciding factor in why Labour failed to win Boris Johnson's old seat from the Conservatives.

    Starmer called on Khan to “reflect” on the scheme, but emphasised the mayor’s hands were somewhat tied. “If the law requires you to do something you can’t simply do nothing,” he said.

    Starmer is right that Khan is legally obliged to do something about air quality, but the law does not specify expanding Ulez.

    Under the Environment Act, all local authorities are required to ensure the air quality in their areas does not breach legal limits on pollution.

    London meets legal limits for most pollutants, but still has illegally high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

    As such Khan is legally required to take “appropriate measures” to bring air pollution in London in line with legal limits. How he does this is not set out in law.

  9. How many cars don't meet Ulez standards?

    BBC Verify

    A Ulez sign in London
    Image caption: Just in case you're interested in what the Ulez sign looks like in the wild, we've got you covered

    In short, it depends who you ask and which vehicles you are including.

    The mayor of London was criticised by the statistics regulator for saying that nine out of 10 households in outer London that had a car already met the emissions standards - his office said he had mis-spoken.

    What the figures actually showed was that nine out of 10 cars seen driving in outer London on a typical day were Ulez-compliant, which means about 78,000 cars were not compliant - but that's not the same thing.

    The BBC has asked repeatedly to see the data behind the nine out of 10 claim, but has only been sent headline figures so far.

    A separate freedom of information request by the BBC to Transport for London (TfL) showed that one in six cars registered in outer London did not meet Ulez standards last year.

    These cars won’t necessarily be on the road every day, but it means roughly 280,000 vehicles in outer London would be liable for the charge if they were driven on London’s roads.

    Looking at the whole of London, the RAC used a freedom of information request to establish that as of February, 691,559 licensed cars in the whole of London failed to meet standards. And if you include other vehicles such as vans and lorries the number increases to 851,065.