This is an absolutely massive topic at the moment, with hundreds of Syrians and escapees from the Middle-East emigrating to Europe for a hopeful future. They’re not asking for much, just shelter, basic needs, opportunities and, above all, peace. If I had to give a name to this phenomenon, I’d call it the European dream. The situation resembles that of the Irish taking a transatlantic journey to Ellis Island, enchanted by the American dream and escaping motherland conflict. History is repeating itself… and the UK Government has understood this.
In itself, the process of accepting refugees into the UK isn’t too difficult. It involves checking the identity of all refugees, finding them a home (which entails building many new ones, something a developed country can afford to do), supporting them financially and making sure their children receive a substantial education. What a lovely utopia this would be… if only their numbers weren’t so overwhelming! David Cameron has elaborated a goal to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees in Britain over the next four and a half years! These massive numbers mean a much slower process of official immigration. And guess what that entails? Illegal immigration through the channel tunnel, a touristic disaster and days of traffic. After the refugees refused to budge unless they gained asylum in Britain, national border police have agreed to consider allowing Syrians who are blocking a gangway at Calais ferry port to enter the UK “on a case by case basis.”
Another issue is the scarcity of jobs and the issue faced by the nationalists. This picture pretty much sums it up:
But, thank Goodness, we aren’t all that awful. A survey found that 31% of British population has given donations in money or in kind, and 1.8m households have offered to house refugees in their homes.
by William H.
Recently, illegal immigration has become a critical issue world-wide, especially in Europe, where many refugees are seeking shelter and security, and the Middle-East. Governments all around have been discussing these refugees’ conditions and what their future would be like in a new country. Most of them are escaping war in the Middle-East, especially the Syrian War, and entire families, so concerned with their safety, leave no matter the outcome. Escaping their violent, perilous, and tragic situations back home seems worth anything.
Since 2013, the number of migrants arriving in the United Kingdom has increased by 24%. People with no legal papers manage to cross the border and access British territory. Planes with tourist visas, ferries incoming from France, even the eurotunnel, are surrounded by migrants, desperately hoping to find a truck on which to hide; any dread of getting caught is neglected.
The European Union (EU) has tried to help the refugees, but european countries cannot welcome an unlimited amount of arrivals. Last month, Great Britain refused to sign up to an EU-wide quota system, aiming to disperse refugees already located in the host country; however, David Cameron has pledged to resettle 20,000 people living in refugee camps over the next five years in Syria and Lebanon. He added: « We must make sure that people in refugee camps are properly fed and looked after but also to stop people wanting to make or thinking of making this very, very difficult and very dangerous journey to Europe. »
The British Government also committed to providing another 100 million pounds to support these migrants, 14.5 million of which to provide assistance and protection in the countries from which they are fleeing. Still, EU migration is one of the issues the government will want to address in its renegotiation of Britain’s membership.
by Paloma B.
Nowadays, refugees in England mostly come from Eritrea, Pakistan and Syria. Statistics published in 2014 show that 0.24% of the UK’s population are war-migrants and that pending asylum cases and stateless people include about 117 161 refugees. Home Offices declare that the country caters for asylum seekers with housing, for example, by distributing £36.95 per person every week, which provides them with £5.28 every day for food, sanitation, and supplies. Nevertheless, these aids come with restrictions, such as a majority of asylum seekers not having the right to work in the UK, which forces them to rely on state support.
It has now been weeks since hundreds of thousands of pictures of Aylan Kurdi, drowned and stranded ashore in Turkey, have spread on Tabloids and on the web. Outrage and shame are universally felt by thousands of people who underestimated the gravity of the situation until then. However, European countries began to face the following question: what do we do now? Over the past weeks, France, Sweden, Germany, and Italy have all been taking in the swarm of refugees. On the other hand, Britain has been reproached of not contributing enough to welcoming their large numbers.
Andrew Mitchell, a British Conservative Party politician, Member of Parliament, and ex International development secretary, claims that the country makes up for the insufficient quantity of refugees received in Great Britain by furnishing a colossal sum of humanitarian provision in Syria and in its neighbouring states. This assistance has eased to feed, shelter, and protect war refugees residing close to their fled nation, “saving Europe” from hundreds of thousands of people overflowing the Old Continent from the Mediterranean sea in ramshackle and hazardous vessels. According to Mitchell, Britain is participating in sharing the burden except in a “slightly different way” than its fellow Western European countries. Indeed, it may have achieved even more in finding solutions to the crisis than the entire European continent thanks to the considerable investments it made in order to bring help to the refugees.
On the 6th September, George Osborne, member of the Conservative Party and First Secretary of State since 2015, confirmed that £1 billion of Britain’s overseas aid budget would be spent in investments made to alleviate the disastrous situation in states such as Syria. It was also said in the Sunday Times that 10 to 15 000 refugees would be admitted to cross the UK border over the next couple of months.
by Emily D.