Amid a sizable influx of illegal migrants arriving on the UK’s shores this May and June, politicians and public figures, such as Brexiteer Nigel Farage, have been keen to highlight the government’s errors and lack of leadership.
As many call on the government to do more, some commentators have fixed their gaze on ‘Fortress Denmark’, where a new law has angered those in Brussels for supposedly contradicting a fundamental value of the EU: the right to claim asylum.
“Denmark’s a country to admire,” one Briton wrote on Twitter, citing Thursday’s news that Copenhagen’s parliament had passed a bill which allows the government to deport asylum seekers to non-EU nations (Rwanda is rumoured to be one) to be processed. The news from Denmark comes as, according to the Daily Mail, May represented the highest number of monthly migrant crossings to the UK from France in years.
“Take a leaf out of Denmark’s book,” another person wrote, directing their comments at UK PM Boris Johnson and the heavily-criticised Home Secretary Priti Patel. “UK should be doing this too,” another added while some praised Denmark’s “no nonsense” leader Mette Frederiksen.
Despite the Home Office’s supposedly tough rhetoric on migration to the UK, many commentators remain unimpressed. Citing Denmark’s move and Croatia’s alleged tough stance on their non-EU border, one account noted “being an island you would think we could do it successfully… put in islands of the coast or recommissioned cargo ships to hold Illegals until processed.”
Others remarked on the supposed benefits of processing migrants abroad. One mentioned that while Denmark was getting a grip on migrants, “the UK is still letting them in first, then dealing with them all. The cost for this fiasco is enormous on the UK Tax Payers.”
Among the flood of comments calling on the UK government to do more, there were some more balanced opinions. One Twitter user noted how the UK and Denmark are both extremely rich nations and they should do more for the “piddling pathetic numbers of people seeking asylum on their shores per year.”
In late 2020 and earlier this year the UK Home Office came under intense scrutiny after reports in the media about plans to send asylum seekers to far-flung British territories, including Ascension Island and even disused oil rigs. The UK still plans to make sweeping changes to its migration and asylum policy, including the provision of preferential treatment for those who don’t arrive at the UK border by illegal means.
According to government statistics, there are 42,000 failed asylum seekers who are yet to leave the UK.