Calais crisis: EU-wide response needed

July 30, 2015 at 8:42 pm (Anti-Racism, asylum, Europe, France, Human rights, immigration, internationalism, Jim D, Racism)

While the UK gutter press sinks to new lows of vicious nationalism and racism (giving us a taste of what to expect in the EU referendum) …

30 7 15 send in the army

…serious and decent people like the author of Obsolete (a blog that I’d wrongly assumed was EU -sceptic) recognise that the only hope of a fair, rational and reasonably humane response has to be Europe-wide – in other words depends upon the EU operating as a trans-national, federal body:

“The only way to deal with the numbers coming fairly is to distribute them evenly between EU member states on the basis of a country’s wealth, size and number of those already settled of the same heritage, to identify just three possible factors to be taken into consideration. This approach would have some major problems: the resettling would have to be done almost immediately after the application is made, to ensure a family or person isn’t then wrenched away from somewhere they’ve come to call home a second time. It would almost certainly have to happen before an application is either approved or rejected, with all the difficulties that entails for cross-border information sharing and language barriers. It would also mean countries that have previously experienced mainly emigration rather than immigration needing to accept some newcomers. As has been shown by both the deal forced on the Greeks and the abortive attempt to do something similar to this earlier in the year, such solidarity is already in extremely short supply.

“None of these problems ought to be insurmountable. It’s no more fair for Italy and Greece to be the front line in both rescuing and providing for migrants in the immediate aftermath of their reaching Europe than it is for Sweden and Germany to bear by far the most asylum applications (if not in Germany’s case by head of population). The main reason Britain would oppose any such change to the regulations is that despite the Calais situation, we would almost certainly end up taking in more asylum seekers than we do now. For all the wailing, Cobra meetings, cost to the economy of Operation Stack and the closure of the tunnel, it’s seen as preferable to any further increase in the immigration figures … “

Jill Rutter at Left Foot Forward makes much the same point, here … and Daniel Trilling argues much the same in the Guardian, here


  1. septicisle said,

    Not sure where you got the idea I’m anti-EU from. Unless on exit we could could somehow manage to negotiate a better deal than Norway and Switzerland have, both of which are subject to the exact same EU policies the Farages and Joneses of this world despise while having none of the benefits, it’s pretty much the definition of insanity.

    • Jim Denham said,

      Sorry to have misrepresented you, septicisle: perhaps I subconsciously misread your name as “scepticisle” … anyway, I’m happy to correct the error. Your coverage at ‘Obsolete’ of the migration crisis has been excellent. I may make use of it again if that’s OK with you.

  2. Steven Johnston said,

    I think the reason that the Labour party let so many immigrants in is that they accepted that immigration is needed under capitalism. We should probably worried when they stop wanting to come here. No one wants to go to North Korea…wonder why? But they all want to come here as we have a better way of life. Plus, British capitalism, post WW2 has always needed a fresh influx of labour.

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      Steven are you on the plonk. Of course Britain lets in foreign labour to keep the engine of capitalism driving onwards. That is capitalism it has no borders and the punters love it. EVEN the socialist Landlords love it.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Yet the capitalist class in France are probably complaining about the cost and disruption to French capitalism. Hence the demands that Britain does something, i.e. stump up some euros!

  3. damon said,

    I can’t really agree with the left on this issue. There is no solution to this migration crisis other than millions of people from Africa and poor countries being allowed to freely go where they want.
    Africa has double the population of the EU. Even if every EU country was willing for its population to rise by one or two percent to accommodate these new migrants, it still wouldn’t be enough.
    It would have to be nearer to four and five per cent.
    And for the UK that would mean up to three million more people.

    Given the chaos in Calais, I think it’s perfectly understandable for the tabloid newspapers to go a bit crazy about the situation. Operation Stack has been going on for weeks. You’ve got migrants jumping out of trucks at English service stations and running down the motorways.
    How else could tabloids report that?

  4. Steven Johnston said,

    But i read in the Daily Mirror today, only 4% of African migrants end up in Britain. 40% of them go to Germany and 18% go to Hungary. Hungary? Didn’t Farage & the Daily Mail kick up a furore about Hungarians coming to the Uk? Now it turns out the migrants are going there!

    • damon said,

      That must just be these transiting migrants who are coming without passports and visas. As London has to have many more Africans than are in the whole of Hungary. And I don’t think they’ll be staying in Hungary.

      Someone who deals with unaccompanied child migrants said that Britain needs to take about 1,500 of them, out of the 15,000 that are now in Italy. That’s an astonishing number of new children to go into our care and foster homes.
      And there will be as many next year maybe.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        1500 is an astonishing number? In what was is it astonishing?

  5. damon said,

    1,500 extra foreign hildren having to be taken into care in one year.
    From Google I read that there are 68,840 children in the British care system right now. Are we just to keep on taking whoever shows up? It will become a flood. What’s the stats on the life chances of children who have been through care? Many of them struggle in life.

    • Steven Johnston said,

      Sorry, if you want to scapegoat immigrants for the problems in Britain you need to find another site. I’d suggest UKIP or the BNP myself.

      • damon said,

        I think you do this site a disservice if you think everyone is as shallow as that. Italy is struggling with 15,000 unaccompanied child refugees this year alone. Don’t you think that is a very big problem to have?
        They are asking for other EU countries to come in and help share the burden. The UK’s share is said to be about 1,500. Still a very large figure.
        And it could be the same next year too.
        I don’t know why you call this scapegoating.

  6. Steven Johnston said,

    Because you are blaming migrants for the problems of capitalism. If the system has failings it is not their fault. It’s like blaming the unemployed for not having a job, blaming the homeless for sleeping rough. Pick a year in British history when you were happy with immigration and tell me what was so wonderful about life back then.

  7. damon said,

    I didn’t realise you were being purely ideological about it.
    Does Kent county council saying their children’s homes and foster services can’t cope with the numbers of child migrants who have turned up in Kent mean that they are scapegoating migrants and parroting BNP propaganda too?

    To say that Europe is faced with a very serious crisis is not ”scapegoating”.
    I was only saying that the numbers are very big.
    Are you going to volunteer to foster one of these children?

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      Migrants/ Asylum seekers are in general dumped in working class estates where there is some hovels available. The articulate do gooders middle classes cannot be expected to put up a tent in their gardens or give up some of their land for emergency housing.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Yes, life in working class estates all started to go downhill when “they” arrived here.

  8. Glasgow Working Class said,

    Steven. You miss the point.Sadly. The rich do not let immigrants near them.

    • Steven Johnston said,

      Erm, that was my point.

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