What we see of what happens at the border is that the United Kingdom decides to close its borders to certain categories of people, and neighboring countries, including France, are delegated the job of watching the border and do the dirty work on their territory. What France would do with willingness and submission.
Paradoxically, while the French government seems still unable to change its policy of harassment and violence, and seems uncapable to any discussion, it seems to play a bigger role in the British institutions.
This is at the heart of a legislative debate, that while the aim of the British government is to “make the lives of those without papers impossible”, a member of the House of Lords introduced an amendment concerning the welcoming in the UK of unaccompanied minors already in Europe (eg Calais) and managed to pass the amedment.
On the ground, the obstacles faced by isolated minor trying to join their family in the UK, others to be welcomed as part of this amendment, come just as much as from the French administration as from the British one.
Similarly, the Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons has just adopted a report on “migration crisis”. Broadly, it is alligned with the main British policies: the closure of national and European borders, according to a logic of “migration” controls and security, it refers both to the “need of air” and “the terrorist menace”.
But within this framework, it affirms the need to respect the Geneva Convention, not only formally in terms of asylum procedure, but in terms of welcoming refugees. And the need to solve the outrageous situations that exist at the British border in Calais and elsewhere.
At the European level, the Committee affirms the need to create legal passages for refugees to enter the European territory, and the Dublin Regulation III cannot deal with the current situation because it puts most of the welcoming of refugees on the shoulders of UE arrival countries.
About Calais and the British border, he points out that isolated minors who could legally enter in UK are still stranded there. It considers that at least part of the refugees blocked in Calais should be welcomed because of having relatives in the United Kingdom,. He called for an agreement between the French and British government to develop a strategy, to put an end to the inhuman conditions of camps on the border, denouncing their lack of vision.
Nothing revolutionary, in fact, since the conclusions of this report don’t undermine the general framework of the current UK migration policy. But on the French side the institutional debate is so frozen that these proposals appear of an unthinkable audacity. A dignified welcome of migrants blocked at the border and the establishment of procedures for some to legally enter in the British territory? What the fuck?
You can download here the press release of the Home Affairs Committee.
You can download here the Home Affairs Committee report.
Turner : The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up.