I am not going to quote tweet this as I will have to deal with too much abuse but like the fishing discussion, some realism is needed.
First, there’s a simple point. People cannot be illegal. There is no such thing as an “illegal.”
Crossing the Channel in a boat isn’t illegal. There’s nothing to stop you or anyone from doing it. Those renting the boats for payment will be committing offences under the various marine shipping and people trafficking regulations but the passengers are acting legally.
There’s no legal requirement to claim asylum in the first safe country. That’s a myth.
There’s a myth too about the numbers. More refugees claim asylum in France and Germany than here.
There’s a further myth that we can simply return them to international waters, ignoring the fact that there is no international water in the Channel.
The final myth is that Brexit will make this better. In fact, once we leave the transition period we will no longer be part of the Dublin agreement and less able to return people to the first point they arrived in the EU.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that with climate change it’s possible we will face much worse problems with worldwide migration. The solution as always is proper coordinated mutually agreed international cooperation.
It’s a shame that with Brexit we are turning our back on something that was at least part of the way forward.
You can follow @shaldonangler.
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