Thread: Keep thinking about how several EU states seem likely to refuse bilateral returns agreements with asylum seekers. It doesn't necessarily rule out a wider EU agreement, but it definitely hinders Patel's plans. 1/
The thing is it was expected, and even Patel had to be expecting it. There is also the added complication, potentially, of recent German court rulings that it is unsafe to return asylum seekers to Greece. 2/
Returns have never been about just dropping asylum seekers off in whichever country you fancy. You need the agreement of that country, and, in theory at least, that country needs the infrastructure to support refugees effectively. 3/
As with so much of Patel's plans this looks like it was designed to create a long term scapegoat, in this case EU member states, for a failure to appease an increasingly small minority of anti-asylum advocates who make up Patel's, if not the Conservatives as a whole, base. 4/
It can be viewed in the same way as other parts of her plan will only result in years of legal battles. Which in turn allows her to continue to blame "activist lawyers" and "do-gooders", rather than actually put effective policies in place which could benefit people. 5/
Likewise, several proposals are liable to only increase asylum seekers reliance on smugglers, and risk escalating organised crime and trafficking, by placing individuals at greater risk of exploitation from gangs. 6/
The saddest part, on a practical level, that for a fraction of the cost of all this the UK could invest in domestic communities to develop them in parallel, so that both asylum seekers and native citizens alike could benefit. 7/
Instead though Patel has opted for a smoke and mirrors PR campaign which will see her, and the Conservatives in general, blame all manner of other government policy failures on asylum seekers, the EU and immigration advocates for years to come. 8/
Housing shortage? Blame asylum seekers. Failure to invest properly in the NHS? "Not our fault, asylum seekers are filling it up". Education, social care, homelessness. "If only we weren't stopped from removing asylum seekers we could deal with it". 9/
It's the ultimate othering and scapegoating, and it will undoubtedly work for a period. It isn't a long term solution though and at some point a government, probably not this one, will need to address that. That will mean investment in communities not controls though. 10/
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