The UK government has to clamp down on illegal crossings of the English Channel

News Letter editorial on Friday April 15 2022:

By Editorial
Friday, 15th April 2022, 9:44 am
Updated Friday, 15th April 2022, 11:18 am
News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

The war in Ukraine has exposed the conflicting feelings that many people in western Europe feel about immigration.

On the one hand there is a widespread, and laudable, desire to be generous, as rich countries, towards those who are destitute or fleeing violence.

On the other hand there is an equally widespread sense that large-scale immigration is damaging to stability within existing communities.

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These contradictory impulses were very apparent in 2015, when many Syrians fled the bitter war in that country and travelled, via Turkey, into Europe.

Germany, at the behest of the then chancellor, Angela Merkel, offered home to a million such migrants and so the numbers travelling out of Syria got even worse.

The UK has been struggling with massive immigration pressures for two decades. Net arrivals in the countries have been running in the hundreds of thousands, and the increased population from such an influx is now measured in the millions. The UK, particularly England, was already one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

To those who say that it is our duty to accommodate such massive population movements, how do they propose to fund the welfare, housing, health and education needs of immigrant populations that, in the absence of barriers, will grow ever larger?

The UK was until now somewhat protected from excess immigration by being islands. Now however the English Channel has been crossed by tens of thousands of people.

Boris Johnson’s government is right to clamp down on this, via various methods including processing asylum seekers who crossed the channel in Rwanda.

Unless would-be migrants (as opposed to asylum seekers) think their expensive journey to the UK, via people smugglers, might fail to result in entry, there will be no deterrent to them trying.