Angelina Jolie Pitt today told Britain to stay in the European Union, that European states should keep borders open to millions of migrants, and blamed citizens’ concerns about mass migration on politicians “preying on…fear”.
She also believes that objections by European voters to the relocation of millions of people from the Third World to their continent is due to a failure of their politicians to explain the migrant crisis “in a clear way”.
Ms. Jolie Pitt delivered the keynote speech at the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) London headquarters as the state broadcaster held a day of coverage dedicated to migration, entitled “World on the Move”.
The Hollywood actress argued that European states refusing to take in millions of migrants would create “decades of instability”.
Ms. Jolie Pitt, the United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Refugee Issues, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s gesture to open the EU’s borders to millions of migrants from mainly Middle Eastern countries was a “beautiful, beautiful thing that said something to the world”.
Asked by BBC news presenter Mishal Husain whether Ms. Jolie Pitt “can understand why people around the world might not feel welcoming”, the wealthy actress responded: “Yes, when it’s not explained to you, when you have media and politicians preying on that fear.”
On Britain’s upcoming referendum regarding the country’s membership of the European Union (EU), Ms Jolie Pitt warned the audience that “the worst possible choice we could now make is to decide to step back from the world.”
“It would be naïve to think that we can protect ourselves selectively, alone, from challenges in a globalised world, by pulling away from other countries or peoples”, the actress told the audience.
“An unstable world is an unsafe world for all. If your neighbour’s house is on fire you are not safe if you lock your doors. Isolationism is not strength. Fragmentation is not the answer.”
Ms. Jolie Pitt claimed that “fear of uncontrolled migration” has “given space, and a false air of legitimacy, to those who promote a politics of fear and separation.”
On the BBC’s Live Reporting page for “World on the Move”, it was reported that there was a mixed reaction to the actress’ sermon on Facebook.
One user wrote:
“It is easy for Angelina Jolie Pitt to take this position because no number of refugees will affect her wealth or the security of her family. That is not true of most of the people of the world.”
Another user expressed similar sentiments, stating:
“Sorry Angie, but I’m not going to take words of wisdom from someone with your privilege and wealth. You don’t have to live with the negative consequences of mass immigration.”
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grande, told the BBC that turning migrants away “won’t work”.
Though this sentiment is regularly expressed by politicians and representatives on various global bodies, it does not account for the success Australia has experienced in stopping the flow of migrants by turning back boats of – mainly economic – migrants who sought passage to their shores.