The prime minister's warning about migrant camps fuels the idea that refugees are no more than political pawns
David Cameron will warn today that if the UK votes to leave the EU, migrant camps like the notorious ‘Jungle’ at Calais could develop in the south-east of England.
>This is because a ‘Brexit’ could mean British border guards are no longer authorised to check passports in France, so the first time migrants encounter British border forces will be on British soil.
A spokesman for Vote Leave has accused the prime minister of ‘scaremongering’. However, what is more concerning is Cameron’s dehumanising use of some of the world’s most vulnerable people as political pawns.
Following on from his dismissal of those at Calais as ‘a bunch of migrants’, Cameron continues to skirt over the desperate and often horrific circumstances which lead people to these squalid camps.
An estimated 5,000 migrants and refugees trying to reach the UK are thought to live in the ‘Jungle’. They include people fleeing the ceaseless bloodshed in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, Eritreans desperate to escape their brutal police state, Kurds fleeing so-called Islamic State, and others for whom staying in their home country means a life of poverty and destitution.
Cameron’s warning today, though designed to emphasise the EU’s contribution to the country’s national security, adds fuel to the narrative that these people are not wanted anywhere and that they are not welcome in the UK.
To use keeping refugees out of the country as an incentive to stay in the EU is an insult to the ‘Remain’ campaign. David Cameron has proved again that he is willing to mock, dismiss and manipulate people fleeing war and persecution for his own political gain.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.