A day after the UK announced a ‘great wall of Calais’ on its southern border to keep migrants out, the left-wing establishment has rallied to condemn the plan, with many comparing it to the policies of U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The wall was announced by the UK’s immigration minister Robert Goodwill on Wednesday, after attempts to illegally enter the UK via Calais quadrupled. Construction is expected to begin this month.
“When Donald Trump said he would build a wall between the United States and Mexico, most of us recoiled. How had politics in the ‘land of the free’ descended so low, so fast?”, asked Caroline Lucas, a Member of Parliament (MP) and co-leader of Britain’s Green party.
In January this year, the British parliament debated banning Mr. Trump from the UK after 570,000 people signed a petition claiming he was “xenophobic” and “racist”.
“Trumpism has now landed in Britain,” continued Mrs. Lucas. “The Government has just announced plans for a 13ft tall, £2m concrete barrier in Calais, designed to keep migrants away.
“The immigration minister, Robert Goodwill, appeared to have been tuning into Trump’s speeches for inspiration when he said yesterday, ‘We are going to start building this big new wall very soon. We’ve done the fence, now we are doing a wall’.”
Her colleagues in the European Parliament agreed.
— Molly Scott Cato MEP (@MollyMEP) September 7, 2016
Labour party politicians have also compared the Calais wall to Mr. Trump’s plan. Jack Dromey MP told the Birmingham Mail: “But this proposal to build a Donald Trump-style wall is a bizarre waste of money.”
“Outrage as Britain plans ‘Trump-esque’ wall in France to stop refugees from entering the UK”, tweeted by Al Jazeera News. “U.K. GOVERNMENT EARNS DONALD TRUMP COMPARISONS FOR CALAIS WALL PLEDGE”, declared Newsweek.
“I empathise with the frustrations of local residents, hauliers, and travellers on both sides of the channel, but we cannot allow this Humanitarian crisis to be exploited by resurgent French or British far right groups,” claimed Keith Taylor, MEP for the South East of England.
Mrs. Lucas argued that opening up borders, not building walls, was the solution.
“If ministers were serious about addressing the situation in Calais, rather than focusing on putting up barriers… they would act to a give people safe, legal access to the UK,” she wrote.