UK Border Agency
The outcome of the meeting of EU heads of government in Brussels last Thursday has been widely criticised for the inadequacy of its response to the refugee crisis on the Mediterranean. Rather than address the most pressing question on how to arrest the escalating refugee death toll on the high seas the suspicion is that the authorities are using it is an opportunity to return to ‘Fortress Europe’ strategy which envisions the continent sealing itself from the migration pressures being generated across Africa, the Middle East and Central Asian regions.
The invitation on the part of the Government to participate in its review of the ‘balance of competence’ between EU and British law and policy invokes the spirit of the bit of the Lobster Quadrille, which considered the gap between our own dear blighty and other foreign parts: What matters it how far we go?” his scaly friend replied. There is another shore, you know, upon the other side. The further off from England the nearer is to France – Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
The polemic around the billboard vans carrying the message ‘Go Home or Face Arrest’ has sparked some long overdue interest in the way the Home Office carries out its enforcement actions. Over the last few days a number of Twitter users have posted real-time reports of immigration raids together with accounts and pictures of how these operations take place.
Why have successive British governments, apparently, made such a hash at administering immigration control policy? The word ‘apparently’ is important because of the difficulty in knowing by what standards we are measuring the success. The high level of discontent which shows up in public opinion surveys, with 70% of respondents regularly expressing dismay at the state of border controls, suggest that all is in disarray and we are truly living in a country with ‘broken borders.’
There is a sobering story in this week’s on-line edition of The Voice, a paper which reports news from the vantage point of Britain’s black community. It concerns Herold Newell, a lorry driver formerly in the employment of the ASDA supermarket chain.