Friday, February 26, 2016

French court approves closure of Calais Jungle - statement


I have been asked a lot about this topic so a few brief thoughts:

* The closure of the Calais Jungle has symbolic importance - this is no minor happening in terms of what the Jungle has come to represent. This is despite the camp being small (no more than 5-6k) than what can be seen elsewhere in the EU. Many in the UK came to associate the Jungle with the migration crisis gripping Europe.

* This is a moment that should have come much earlier. The French court's decision is both unsurprising and long overdue. Conditions in the Jungle have been deplorable and serve the interests of no one. It is welcome news to see it is to be closed. HOWEVER....

* The big question is what to do next. Serious concerns remain about the available accommodation for migrants - and how any claims for asylum will be heard. This can take many months or longer.

* Many of the migrants are believed to be unaccompanied children - some with roots in Britain. These cases may need to be heard in the UK - so Britain not immune from the situation in France.
 

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