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By John Redwood's Diary
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Closing Calais

Monday, October 17, 2016 22:33
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The French authorities say they will be closing the Calais camp in a few days time. They have a lot of work to do in the meantime, to find out who is there, what rights they have to stay or to work or to receive an education in the EU and how their futures should be taken care of. There are many adults, and all too many unaccompanied children.

The UK has said that it will take unaccompanied children who have family in the UK willing to look after them, and will help the French by also taking some children who do not have family members who can take care of them. The Home Office has sent officials to Calais to help the French talk to the migrants to see who should be eligible to come to the UK, and then to make the necessary arrangements. Of course the UK is a guest in Calais and has to work under French direction.

The Calais camp is what happens when large numbers of migrants and refugees are allowed to enter the EU elsewhere without proper consideration of their legal rights and needs. It is not good for the travellers or for the host nations. Putting off making a decision about their eligibility and needs leads to delay and to these worrying encampments which are far from satisfactory for those living in them.

The priority in dealing with the children should be in putting them back with family members capable of looking after them. Presumably some adult put the child on the long road to Calais and provided money to pay for the perilous journey. It would be good to know in each case who did this and what help they or other responsible adults in the family can now offer the child if they are not resident in a war zone.


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