Today, The Sun ran a story with the headline CHECKPOINT CHARLIES.
Carrying the sub-heading ‘European judges ‘open the floodgates’ to illegal immigrants after passport ruling’, the article goes on to bemoan the fact that the European Courts of Justice ruled that French authorities were wrong to imprison a Ghanaian woman caught trying to get through the Channel Tunnel with a fake passport.
The woman was held in France after being caught on a coach from Belgium to London.
The paper claims that the ruling gives a ‘green light for thousands of illegals wanting to get here from France’ and quotes UKIP politician Stephen Woolfe (misspelt as Wolf) as saying it ‘blows a hole in David Cameron’s argument that the EU makes us more secure’.
The ECJ ruling means that those entering illegally from one EU state to another should only be jailed as a last resort.
However, the UK is exempt from the directive as it only applies to the Schengen zone on the continent.
Furthermore, the ruling does not state that those caught should go free with no sanctions. They are given a 30 day period to return home voluntarily before forced removal measures can be used.
According to the court ruling: ‘If voluntary departure does not take place, the directive requires the member states to carry out forced removal using the least coercive measures possible. It is only if there is a risk of the removal being compromised that the member state may keep the person concerned in detention, the duration of which may not in any case exceed 18 months’.
So all in all a fairly punitive measure and one that doesn’t directly affect the UK anyway. It seems like the only charlies in this instance are those working at The Sun.
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