Thoughts on reaction to this so far (on both sides of the Channel)

Lots of talk of shock and horror tonight but this was predicted and predictable. Just last week an aid agency told me concern was without change the Channel could become a graveyard- it happened.
Both British and French politicians have talked about clamping down on the people smugglers. No-one would disagree with that, they’re a menace with indifference to human life. But the constant talk of pull factors doesn’t account for the really (more) important push factors.
We can’t know for sure how many in the camps are refugees but we know it’s many, some believe most. Many I spoke to yesterday talked of persecution in their home countries, imprisonment or worse. They feel they have nothing to lose. In those circumstances by definition you’re...
...never going to make it less appealing for them to try and come than it is for them to stay. So you can argue that focusing on pull factors alone really won’t make much difference. Something has to improve at source. It’s also true to say that in a global refugee crisis...
...which numbers some 80 million+ people it really isn’t surprising relatively negligible number would end up on the UK’s shores. In those circumstances if you wanted to guarantee a reduction in unsafe crossings at least one part of the policy
... toolkit here would be to create safer ways for asylum seekers to come to the UK... which they are legally entitled to do (there is no legal obligation to claim asylum in the first “safe” country you come to.

This is complicated with no easy answers...
... but I’ve no doubt on the basis of the conversations I’ve had at the camps that today’s events will deter few.

We’ll be discussing all of this and more on tonight’s special programme, live from Dover. Tune in. BBC 2.

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More from @lewis_goodall

26 Nov
NEW: President Macron responds to @BorisJohnson: “The only answer is a serious cooperation...I am surprised by the methods when they're not serious. We don't communicate from one leader to another on these subjects like this via tweets or by making letters public.”
At the end Macron says French Interior Minister will meet with his EU counterparts and the Commission on Sunday. Then says they’ll work with the British “when they decide to be serious about it.”
This now has become a major diplomatic row and rift. There’ll be endless (Brexit infused) argument about who is responsible but net result is that when the weather clears the people in the camps are just as much at risk as before and it all happens again. A disaster, all round.
Read 4 tweets
25 Nov
On those who died yday Jean Marc Puissesseau, Head of Port of Calais tells @BBCr4today: “These people have to face many obstacles before they arrive in Calais. They love England, they want to go to your’s not just a problem of Europe its also a problem of the UK.”
“They have been suffering in their countries and for them their future and highest hope is to get to the UK.”

Worth noting they are also suffering in France, as our report yesterday documented.
On question of greater French urgency Calais port head says: “we are obliged in Calais port to control each lorry to know that there’s not migrants inside. We do it for no penny. It’s gratis for your country. It costs us €8 million a year...”
Read 17 tweets
23 Nov
Bleak hour or so not far from Calais. Scores and scores of people having to walk up and down the roadside after their camp was broken up by police. They say officers confiscated their sleeping bags and equipment. It’s cold, miserable- saw a couple of kids crying in the street. ImageImageImage
Now they’ll have to go and buy new sleeping bags, new equipment (if they can afford it). And they’ll simply have to settle somewhere else until they try and make their crossing and/or are moved on again.
Spoke to a group from Afghanistan- said they’d fled the country after the fall of the government. Took them several months (and thousands of pounds to smugglers) to reach northern France. Many others from Kurdistan and Iraq. Lots of families here.
Read 48 tweets
19 Nov
There's been a lot of focus these last few weeks on MPs' second jobs. Tonight I have a special report on Newsnight on another part of the standards system which has received less attention but which some believe really needs reform: corporate hospitality for MPs.
We've used gambling as our example. By our calculations since May alone gambling and betting companies have spent nearly £100,000 on corporate hospitality for just 28 MPs- this is all within the current rules. This includes tickets to Ascot, Wimbledon, the Euros and more besides.
Make sure you're watching on Newsnight- report from me, @RhodaBuchanan, @jackcevans and @Sean__Clare. BBC2, 2230.
Read 5 tweets
17 Nov
Focus today was on Parliament. But as was just explaining on Newsnight just as important were the government’s announcements on the social care plan which were quietly unveiled as the PM was at the liaison committee....
There were two bits to the PM’s announcement back in September 1) a cap of £86k on lifetime care costs (though not complete as doesn’t include bed and board for care homes) and 2) the means test which helps households with less than £100k in assets pay for weekly costs.
What the government announced today was that those two things won’t intersect. Ie that the means test payments will not count towards reaching the £86k cap- only payments an individual makes themselves will.
Read 15 tweets
17 Nov
Mr Speaker chastises the Prime Minister for the second time for trying to ask Starmer questions: "Prime Minister, I've made it very clear it's PMQs, not for the Opposition to answer your Qs- those are the rules of the game we're all in to, and we play by the rules don't we?"
"And we respect this House, so let's respect this House."
Prime Minister attempts to ask Starmer a third question about payments he received for legal advice when an MP.

Speaker forces the PM to retake his seat: "Prime Minister- SIT DOWN. I'm not going to be challenged, you may be the Prime Minister but in this House, I'm in charge."
Read 5 tweets

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