Jeremy Corbyn has said up to 3,000 migrants currently in camps in Calais should be allowed into Britain.
The Labour leader visited camps in Dunkirk, and said the British government should follow Germany’s example in “doing its part” to help ease the pressures created by the migrant crisis in Europe.
“We’re not doing anything about the refugee crisis that’s actually happening in Europe itself”, he said. The solution, he said, is to allow migrants into Britain, arguing “Go through the process of everyone who wants to come to Britain and has a connection and process their application.”
— Murnaghan (@SkyMurnaghan) January 24, 2016
Labour’s leader said that processing migrants in the camps would allow refugees to be identified and would eventually result in camps being closed.
Corbyn was asked if allowing migrants into Britain would act as a “magnet” for more migrants: “It’s a very strange magnet of desperation, a fetid swamp with foul water, and people living in tents in the middle of winter shows the level of desperation – we’re talking 3,000 people. It’s not very many”, he answered.
Corbyn told Sky News Labour had in the past been too defensive about immigration and should lay out the benefits of migration.
The Beckett report, published earlier this week, said Labour didn’t connect on issues such as immigration. In light of this, Corbyn said Labour hadn’t “sufficiently” explained the positive role migrants played in Britain, citing “the work done in the NHS and education and industry” as examples.