EU Referendum

Asylum seekers: turning off the tap


000a CFR-003 Asylum.jpg

As the migration crisis continues to gather pace, the one thing that continues to be omitted is any reference to the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Refugees (and the 1967 Protocol).

Not only does there seem to be a collective and wilful memory loss, there also seems to be another complete lapse when it comes to the Lisbon Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, specifically Article 18. In black and white (reproduced above), it states:
The right to asylum shall be guaranteed with due respect for the rules of the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 and the Protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the status of refugees and in accordance with the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (hereinafter referred to as "the Treaties").
In their "wisdom", the EU Member States have sent a message to the oppressed and deprived peoples of the world that, as of right, they can come to Europe and claim asylum. This is a totally unconditional right, and one that appears to have been granted – at the time - without the first idea of the consequences.

Now, with the thousands heading across the Mediterranean, and the many more crossing over into Greece and thence northwards to Germany, the "colleagues" are finding to their horror that the oppressed and deprived are taking them up on their new-found "rights".

Perhaps where we are dealing with is group cognitive dissonance, if there is such a thing. Having created an impossible situation, they are now set on ignoring the root cause and thus completely failing to deal with the consequences of their own (or predecessors') actions, or their own hypocrisy.

Having given what amounts to an open-ended invitation to asylum seekers from throughout the world, the nations of the EU then erect a series of barriers preventing them taking up that invitation, forcing them to take increasingly hazardous routes in order to exercise the rights they have been given.

Thus, the tragic outcome of the rash inclusion of a "right" that we could not afford to give, and failed to understand the consequences, is that no-one benefits – not even the refugees who are now swamping the system to the extent that state after state is no longer able to cope.

To deal with this mess, therefore, there is an urgent need for creative solutions. But nothing is going to work until the flow of migrants is contained. The right to asylum must be removed from the Charter. In figurative terms, before mopping the bathroom floor, it is necessary to turn off the tap that is causing the overflow.

If there is any political upside to this, the total inability of the EU to confront its own failures has at least offered Ukip the opportunity to propose effective and humanitarian solutions, thereby demonstrating to a wider constituency the inadequacies of the Union.

Yet, as we have seen over the years, Ukip has consistently failed to step up to the plate, eliding asylum-seeking and refugees with immigration in general, without beginning to understand what is at stake.

And it is that failure – bizarrely the failure properly and responsibility to address the EU's failures – which, as Autonomous Mind points out, is triggering a backlash. This is so profound that even the Telegraph has noticed.

Such is the stupidity of Mr Farage's party that in its own immigration policy it asserts that it will "maintain [the] principles of UN Convention on Refugees for Asylum and have immediate review of the asylum process which aims to speed up rights to Leave To Remain and discover logjam on those declined asylum statuses".

In other words, the very things the EU is seeking to do and which are attracting the criticism from Ukip supporters, are embodied in Ukip policy – with the Party supporting the UN instrument which has given rise to the problem in the first place.

Sadly, Ukip's dereliction is matched by the ignorance of the legacy media, which has shown consistency only in its complete inability to report the refugee crisis intelligently. To that extent, the media are allowing Ukip to escape more pointed criticisms, that show up the full extent of its inadequacies.

The opportunity, as Pete North suggests, is to leverage acceptance of more refugees against reform of the Refugee Convention. Had Ukip chosen that route, it would have captured the high ground and we would be supporting it. As it stands, no sane person could do anything other than disown the Party.