The Brooks Blog is a top 100 Labour Party blog by Thom Brooks discussing topics in ethics, law & public policy
Monday, April 04, 2016
STATEMENT: Thom Brooks on return of migrants to Turkey today
A statement by Thom Brooks - Professor of Law and Government at Durham University - on the return of migrants in Greece to Turkey under the terms of the EU-Turkey 'one out, one in' deal:
·The EU deal with Turkey on migration is already
under severe strain.
·The EU has only half the border guards needed to
handle deportations, the Greek government has struggled to identify migrants
for deportation because of a lack of translators and both the EU and Greece
have been overwhelmed by the hundreds of migrants claiming asylum over the
·As the first boat of 200 migrants is returned to
Turkey, another 200 Syrian nationals will be sent off to Greece in a
·This is meant to discourage and deter migrants
from crossing over into Greece – and so reduce migration into Europe. But it is
unclear still whether a one-for-one swap will have that effect. Nor is it clear
that if this migration route is tightened, then others will not soon open up as
migrants seek entry to the EU.
·Either way, this issue is certain to remain
alive throughout the referendum campaign - deflecting attention away from the
PM’s reform plans for the EU.
UPDATE (6 April 2016): The return of migrants from Greece to Turkey is now suspended. Serious questions remain over the safe return of migrants to Turkey and what happens next. The current arrangement is for migrants to be returned to their native countries, but this is difficult, costly and takes time with many of these countries still unsafe.