I wholeheartedly welcome yesterday’s court ruling which will allow four Syrian refugees, three of them unaccompanied children to legally travel from Calais to the UK to join their loved ones, and wish them well for their new lives with their families here in the UK.
I commend the work of UK Citizens and the other organisations who identified and fought the case on behalf of these vulnerable youngsters, and strongly condemn the total failure of the British and French governments to ensure that those stranded in Calais have swift access to an effective asylum procedure, and their rights under European law to have their claim examined in the same country in which close family members are present properly upheld. Let’s not forget that the court are not making significant special exemptions in this case , they are simply ensuring that EU law, which stipulates that close families must be kept together when seeking protection, is properly implemented.
I call upon the British Government to proactively assist in identifying others in Calais who have a right to travel safely to the UK to join loved ones instead of forcing vulnerable people to risk their lives in the back of lorries. Many of the people enduring the squalid conditions of the ‘jungle’ camps in and around Calais have very valid grounds for wanting to get to the UK and the Greens will be pushing for a system which takes people’s preferences based on family or community relations, qualifications, language skills or cultural ties into consideration the in the upcoming review of the Dublin regulation.