The Crisis in Calais – What Crisis?

EU figures show that in 2014 Europe received 626,00 asylum applications including:
Germany 203,000
Sweden 81,000
Italy 65,000
France 64,000
Hungary 43,000
United Kingdom 32,000
Austria 28,000
Netherlands 25,000
Belgium 23,000

These figures include refugees from Ukraine and the Balkans as well as Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa.

In absolute numbers, a total of almost 104,000 persons were granted refugee status in the EU-28 in 2014 (first instance and final decisions), nearly 60,000 subsidiary protection status, and just over 20,000 authorisation to stay for humanitarian reasons. So around 25-30% of applicants were allowed to stay legally in the EU.

It is worth noting that the total population of the EU is 500,000,000.

UN figures indicate that around 100,000 migrants made it to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea in the first half of 2015.

The press are having a field day and pumping up the rhetoric about swarms of migrants crossing the channel but has anyone bothered to look at the actual numbers involved and how many asylum seekers actually find refuge in the UK?

Given the level of asylum requests over the whole of Europe (and yes the numbers will have increased in the current year) we need to ask the question why do we make such a big deal over 3,000 – 5,000 refugees in Calais? Should we not ask why we are only taking in half the number of refugees that France or Italy take in? Are we that worried by a few thousand more? Are we, as a nation, so broke or xenophobic that we cannot extend a hand of welcome to a few thousand more refugees? Are we losing our humanity?

Lessons from the Euro Debates

Like many people I have sat through both Euro debates and my gut feeling is that they did more to cement pre-existing views than sway anybody to vote one way or another.

What was hugely disappointing was the non-appearance of the other two major party leaders. If this is the leadership of David Cameron and Ed Milliband, then it is difficult to be positive about the future of Britain. They say they are both convinced Europeans but neither had the guts to defend their positions in a public debate. Neither was prepared to face down the populist groundswell behind UKIP that blames all our country’s ills on immigration and Europe.

The conclusion is simple. If you believe in Great Britain rather than Little England, if you want a strong Britain within Europe rather than a Billy-no-mates Britain with no jobs and no influence, if you want to see a future vision of Britain taking its rightful place in Europe rather than hoping to return Britain to the isolation of the fifties and sixties, then you need to vote for the Lib Dems, the party of IN, on May 22nd.