“We must reach out the hand of humanity to the victims of war and brutal repression,” Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said during a visit to the Gande Synthe refugee camp near Dunkirk in northern France.
The Morning Star said on January 25 that Corbyn described conditions at the camp, where more than 2000 asylum seekers live, as “far worse” than those in the Jungle camp at Calais, near the cross-Channel tunnel. The Labour leader called for an international effort like the one mounted to rescue Jewish children from the Nazis in World War II.
“Along with other EU states, Britain needs to accept its share of refugees from the conflicts on Europe's borders, including the horrific civil war in Syria,” Corbyn said. “As a matter of urgency, David Cameron should act to give refuge to unaccompanied refugee children now in Europe — as we did with Jewish Kindertransport children escaping from Nazi tyranny in the 1930s.”
The Morning Star said Corbyn's comments came after 50 refugees living in the Calais camp stowed away on a ferry in a bid to reach safety in Britain, but were caught — causing a several-hour delay to cross-Channel traffic.
Road Haulage Association boss Richard Burnett demanded that French soldiers be deployed before a “UK-bound truck driver is killed.”
He called for harsh measures to stop what he termed “migrant mayhem”.
But refugee rights campaigners said military force was not the solution to the “enormous amount of desperation” felt by refugees.
“It is understandable that the current situation in Calais puts tremendous pressure on lorry and train drivers,” London2Calais aid worker Mona Dohle said. “But migrants shouldn't be blamed for this crisis. They are forced to enter Britain illegally because there is no legal procedure for entering.
“There is only one way to end this crisis, open the borders and allow safe passage.”