Solidarity with Paris

French flag

For the second time in ten months, we have been shocked by events in Paris.

People doing what we are all lucky enough to be able to do on a Friday night – head out for a meal, to a football match, to a gig – meet death and violence.

I just felt heartbroken watching events unfold last night, thinking of all those people, of the emergency services coming to their aid, of President Hollande, whose shocked face spoke for us all, for those waiting for news of their loved ones.

At the same time, you see examples of this tragedy bringing out the best in people, offering refuge to people stuck on the streets and doing what they could to help.

The aim of these incidents is to create fear and hatred and, sure enough, some people were quick to blame refugees when, actually, we should be understanding why they are refugees. People in Syria and other parts of the world face this sort of carnage every day.

These events need to lead to greater compassion, empathy and understanding and not fuel hatred.

The thoughts of all of us here are with all those who have been affected by these events.

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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54 Comments

  • “These events need to lead to greater compassion, empathy and understanding and not fuel hatred.”

    They do, but more importantly they also need to lead to a pretty hard-headed and evidence-led attempt to understand and then stop this madness, wherever it’s happening in the world. A good start would be for politicians to actually start listening to people – from Paris to Damascus – and find out what sort of societies they actually want to live in.

  • John Barrett 14th Nov '15 - 10:13am

    If the real threats to our future are from terrorists and global warming as many have predicted, maybe those who think that our future is best protected by spending £100bn, or more, on replacing Trident will give some thought as to how far this could go in the years ahead to address real problems on the ground at home and abroad.

  • It is truly a tragedy from which we all must learn, Recently a few people made a big fuss about Alex Carlile, stating he shouldn’t be a Lib Dem or he should have the Whip withdrawn for his views on terrorism. Well I for one am glad he is a Lib Dem. Our diversity is our strength and we need to listen to each other more and condemn less.

  • I agree with Stuart, but in places where there are two (or possibly more) groups who have a totally different vision of the sort of society they actually want to live in, and they want to live in the same place, you have to find a way to build tolerance. However, as we all know a single bomb changes things dramatically, and sustaining tolerance, while not tolerating the intolerable, is a never ending journey, not a destination.

  • Awful, terrible happenings….. and wise words from John Barrett.

  • “The thoughts of all of us here are with all those who have been affected by these events.”

    Really? Only five responses to this tragedy? … Now had it been about Jeremy Corbyn….

  • George Kendall 14th Nov '15 - 4:13pm

    The FT have written: “On this dreadful morning after, France is at an equipoise between two sharply contrasting options. One is to withdraw into a less open, more inward-looking society while conducting a harsher, Russian-style military campaign in Syria. The other is to preserve the country’s role as an open European society exercising strategic prudence in the Middle East.”
    https://twitter.com/ftcomment/status/665540470290935808

    As we react in shock to this atrocity, we must not let the terrorists undermine our values, and certainly not give them what they want.

    (Hat tip to tweet by @EdwardGLuce)

  • Eddie Sammon 14th Nov '15 - 5:24pm

    Well my cards are on the table: more military operations and more security. Drones need to part of the solution. It won’t mean less freedom because it will mean much more justice.

    I went through conflicting emotions last night. At first I wanted to cry, then I went very angry and actually a bit intolerant with those who I deemed to be putting Europe at risk. By the end of the night I calmed down and apologised for some of my angrier words, but still, doing nothing is not an option and if the left isn’t careful the UK and France could end up like Poland where the only games in town are centrist or right wing parties.

    Best regards

  • Dave Orbison 14th Nov '15 - 6:14pm

    Eddie – I am sure we all shared similar emotions as the horrors of last night became clear. It is certainly tempting to want to ‘strike back’ and I confess I offer no real solutions. But I listened carefully to a ‘terrorist analyst’ on one of the TV channels today. He was very measured in his words; he started out by setting out the motivation of those behind such atrocities. They want to be seen to be ‘relevant’ i.e. top item in the news, something we all talk about and on the working assumption that this is ISIS, they want the West to go into Syria. He accepted that you may think the idea of inviting all sorts of armoury to be aimed at them in retaliation seems ludicrous, but explained that this is exactly what they want. Their aim is to spread division and dissent within our society, to encourage Islamophobia, anti-immigration sentiments and above all embroil the West in further entanglement. My instinct then is that we must resist this. We cannot be seen to give the terrorists what they want any more than we should ever give in to kidnaper ransom demands. To do so risks much more. Our leaders need to make clear that Islamophobia, anti- immigration, racist and sabre rattling acts are the victory that these terrorists desire. We should come together and defiantly reject such acts. We need to find smart ways to dismantle these groups – a war based on intelligence starving of them of funds and supplies and lots more no doubt.

  • Eddie Sammon 14th Nov '15 - 8:05pm

    Hi Dave Orbison, just to clarify: I believe in religious equality and welcome Mosques in the UK. I think we can isolate the terrorists from Islam and then target them.

  • Eddie
    To me the problem is a lack of commitment to the involvement of ground troops. Adding a few extra bombs or drone strikes here and there will simply turn Syria into more rubble. History shows over and over again that air campaigns on large land masses are ineffectual or even counter productive. They do not put power back on or make buildings habitable or reassure besieged populations that their homelands will once again become stable. They just displace people and make the enemy more adaptable. This is why I do not support more airstrikes. Sure getting the odd Jihadist is a crowd pleaser at home but it’s largely a waste of the military because it is not strategically that significant. They are soon replaced.
    My heart goes out to the people of France and obviously Britain should stand with them. We need to think in terms of what we can do to improve the situation rather than indulge in what can seem more like tokenism than a joined up strategy.

  • David Cooper 14th Nov '15 - 10:11pm

    “These events need … not fuel hatred”

    No, they should not fuel hatred. But they justify high level of distrust towards the co-religionists of those who committed this act.

  • Just to address the other point in John Barretts point:

    If the real threats to our future are from terrorists, maybe those who think that our future is best protected by spending £x bn, or more, on taking in hundreds of thousands of ‘refugees’ will give some thought as to how far their thinking is simply increasing the reality of terrorism on the ground at home and abroad…

  • Roland, linking terrorists and refugees in the way you are there is troubling. The refugees are fleeing the terrorists who have taken over their homes.

    What we should be doing is controlling the border of the European Union, housing refugees from the Middle East on the borders in accommodation that serves better than the embarrassment at Calais, paid for by fiscal transfer among European Union member states. Long-term asylum for the refugees is a possibility, but we must not simply give up on the hope of making their homes safe again.

    Ending the war is the thing. We must accept that it likely won’t end on terms we much approve of, and we need to abandon our apparent current policy of just hoping that President Assad just gets hit by a bus or something. A peace process post-ISIS is possible, although the question of how to defeat ISIS remains very much open and we will need to accept that said peace process will involve the existing regime.

    Long-term asylum then for those unable to return to a significantly Assad-influenced Syria would be the remaining problem, and the price to pay for years of failed policy.

  • What the correspondents above said about the dangers of certain European leaders declaring open house to any and every young gMiddle Eastern man to enter the Schengen area and about suspicion – not hatred – of their co-religionists already established here: eu citizens or not. If we keep turning the other cheek in fear of provoking the maniacs, pretty soon they will blow both our cheeks away. Huge refugee/ vetting camps now, in Greece or Turkey paid for by EU funds., staffed by people who can tell genuine cases from sleepers .No-one who has not passed through them to be given asylum. And, probably , the suspension of Schengen for an extended period. Desperate times, desperate measures.

  • A horribly complex issue. My instincts are with David Evans and Eddie Sammon, but much sense in what Dave Orbison says about playing into the hands of Daesh.

  • Please think before demanding ‘action’….After 9/11 Bush/Blair used it as an excuse to remove Saddam (an enemy of these terrorists); Obama/Cameron used ‘defending civilians’ as an excuse to remove Gaddafi (an enemy of these terrorists) and are still trying to remove Assad (an enemy of these terrorists)….Were Iraq/Libya any more repressive than Saudi?….
    We have had ‘boots on the ground’ in Afghanistan and Iraq for over a decade and yet ISIS still exists there…Even if it were possible to eradicate them in Syria,what next; Libya, Mali, Somali, Yemen, etc? ….

    Putin has held out an olive branch on co-operation; let us form an East/West alliance to share intelligence, etc; We must get away from the idea that western action = Good; Russian action =Bad…..

    It may be too late to undue the mindsets created by western intervention and ‘collateral damage’ but let us at least accept that ‘more of the same’ isn’t the answer…..

  • Helen Dudden 15th Nov '15 - 9:11am

    When I go to the airport to fly and visit my family in Spain, I need an up to date passport. I am checked thoroughly going through passport control.

    In Spain it is even more. I went to Madrid after the terrible events there, I still remember going on the transport system, left behind was the evidence of the suffering involved.

    I have no problems with these controls, yet thousands are coming without any control.

    We hear on the news, how the security in Gatwick prevented a further incident.

    Security, will prevent further pain and suffering, prevention is far better answer, than more suffering.

    I feel as I listen to the news on the terrible events in France, what is happening?

  • ohn Marriott 15th Nov ’15 – 9:52am………….Too draconian for some? As someone famously said, “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs”……..

    It might not be a bad idea to decide what kind of an omelette ( or even if it’s an omelette) you want to make, BEFORE breaking these eggs…

  • David Becket 15th Nov ’15 – 10:09am……..Unless we react in a way that shows we understand peoples fears liberalism will be overtaken by extreme parties………………..That does not mean we support Cameron’s bombing in Syria. Any such action must be international, which may now be easier to achieve…………………….

    So to forestall extreme parties we should act like extreme parties…Hmmmm

    Please explain what you hope to achieve by ‘bombing Syria’? Will such action result in less, or more, Paris type atrocities?

  • Helen Dudden 15th Nov '15 - 10:40am

    Security is failing. The simple answer. You can’t allow mass migration, without some control.

    There were calls to house more In The UK.

    If I have too, like many others go through checks in and out of the UK, this should be the case for immigrants, that’s only logic.

    Shengen does work, those with the card system are checked at the borders, but then, useless, unless we check everyone.

    If its antisemitic comments or behaviour against the safety of others, its not welcome. This has to be enforced with true commitment for the safety of those wish to live In a safe and peaceful environment.

  • John Barrett 14th Nov ’15 – 10:13am
    “If the real threats to our future are from terrorists and global warming as many have predicted…”

    It is odd that the Climate change conference is also in Paris – perhaps this issue does provide an opportunity for reconciliation with the Muslim community:

    God – Whom we know as Allah – has created the universe in all its diversity, richness and vitality: the stars, the sun and moon, the earth and all its communities of living beings. All these reflect and manifest the boundless glory and mercy of their Creator. All created beings by nature serve and glorify their Maker, all bow to their Lord’s will. We human beings are created to serve the Lord of all beings, to work the greatest good we can for all the species, individuals, and generations of God’s creatures.

    Our planet has existed for billions of years and climate change in itself is not new. The earth’s climate has gone through phases wet and dry, cold and warm, in response to many natural factors. Most of these changes have been gradual, so that the forms and communities of life have adjusted accordingly. There have been catastrophic climate changes that brought about mass extinctions, but over time, life adjusted even to these impacts, flowering anew in the emergence of balanced ecosystems such as those we treasure today. Climate change in the past was also instrumental in laying down immense stores of fossil fuels from which we derive benefits today. Ironically, our unwise and short-sighted use of these resources is now resulting in the destruction of the very conditions that have made our life on earth possible.

    http://islamicclimatedeclaration.org/islamic-declaration-on-global-climate-change/

  • T-J – “linking terrorists and refugees in the way you are there is troubling.”

    Totally agree, however given that indications are that one or more of these terrorists entered France as a ‘refugee’ and that this use of ‘refugee’ status as cover for terrorist endeavours isn’t unknown, it is one we need to be fully aware of; something I suggest that those who publicly call for countries to simply open their borders to any one who can tick the ‘refugee’ box need to be much more aware of. To me today these people – and that includes Tim Farron – have blood on thier hands…

  • John Marriott 15th Nov ’15 – 10:51am………..Dear Expats,…………Perhaps you could add a few more ingredients that might appeal to you and which might be palatable to the rest of us…..

    Dear John, (sorry, but I couldn’t resist that)……..As the Irishman said when asked for directions, “You’s be better not starting from here”…But here we are…

    Firstly I’d ask UK Moslems, from both moderate and radical sides, what would help….and follow that advice…

    I’d forget helping ‘moderates’ in Syria and support Russia/Assad in stabilising Syria, forming an alliance with Iran and Lebanon and creating a viable base in opposing the Saudi led influence in the area…It means admitting we’ve been wrong and that, no matter how unpalatable, it’s better than the alternative……

    A ‘price’ for such assistance could be their help in stabilising Libya……

    I don’t know if any of it is feasible but, what I do know is that all we, in the west, have done so far is to make things worse both for the ME and ourselves…

  • Dave Orbison 15th Nov '15 - 12:18pm

    Roland et al on the “one of the terrorists entered France as a ‘refugee'”.
    Perfect just what the terrorists wanted – the blame game. What better than to take one document found on one terrorist and condense the whole ISIS issue into a debate about immigration. So what happened in London then on 7/7? I know it’s a bit inconvenient to those that point the finger at immigration but those atrocious acts of terrorism in London were down to British citizens – people born and bred in the UK.
    I really am depressed at the some of the contributions on LDV from those all too willing to jump on the refugee blame game. I am not saying that it is possible that some terrorists have or could come through immigration, my question is more a case of so what? Do you think for one minute we would stop ISIS in their tracks by closing our borders? Would turning our backs on women and children and refusing them entry when fleeing from bombing of their homes by ISIS, Russia, the West, Assad or AN OTHER is humane? Of course it’s not humane and of course it would not stop ISIS. On the contrary it would give ISIS a sense of achievement. They thrive on causing division, hatred, and suspicion. We need to ‘out smart’ them. The very first step is to point-blank refuse to give them what they crave – i.e. we must not be drawn into blaming sections of society and labelling people who overwhelmingly are victims of ISIS too.
    We need to work with other countries, including Russia and Syria, to figure out how to isolate ISIS and starve them from supplies and funds. We must resist at all costs giving ISIS what they want or else resign ourselves to a very bleak future. If we go continue on our path of failed military campaigns we simply leave ISIS to reap the rewards of our unsophisticated and ultimately unsuccessful attacks in foreign whilst simultaneously add to divisions within our own communities at home.

  • @Dave Orbison
    ” I listened carefully to a ‘terrorist analyst’ on one of the TV channels today. He was very measured in his words; he started out by setting out the motivation of those behind such atrocities… [Isis] want the West to go into Syria. He accepted that you may think the idea of inviting all sorts of armoury to be aimed at them in retaliation seems ludicrous, but explained that this is exactly what they want.”

    Some of the people involved with IS may think that way – especially the ones who funding it from a safe distance. But I think sometimes we should give more credence to what IS actually say instead of hunting for hidden meanings. With their ultra-literalist view of the word, they strike me as monumentally unimaginative people. So when they say – as they apparently did yesterday – that the Paris attack was designed to stop the French interfering in Syria, I suspect they do actually mean it.

    @Colin
    “Jihadists abhor French secular republicanism even more than they abhore Americans, after all. It is easy for Syrians Jihadists to focus on their old colonial master.”

    This is indeed how the Jihadists think, as well as being obsessed with the Crusades, but it’s all a bit nonsensical when you look at the entire history of the region. France’s “colonial mastery” of Syria amounted to about 26 years, at the tail end of nearly 1,300 years of occupation by various Islamic forces – initially the Arabs, later the Ottomans.. with several others in between.

    Occasionally you get people on here talking about the Jihadists’ obsession with the Crusades as if it is something perfectly understandable. It isn’t, and nor should it be relevant. We wouldn’t give the time of day to, say, any Spanish people who still held a grievance for the centuries of Arab Muslim occupation of Spain. Yet where the Crusades are concerned, many Western liberals talk as if we should all be embarrassed and ashamed about it. We’ll never make progress so long as people are unable to move on from the Middle Ages.

  • @Roland
    “To me today these people – and that includes Tim Farron – have blood on thier hands.”

    That’s putting it strongly but you do have a good point. Syria is riven by civil war and sectarianism, and many of the combatants have a self-declared hatred for the West. It should have been obvious to anybody that if Europe’s doors were flung open and all precautions abandoned, then at least a few of the people making it here would want to bring the war with them, even if 99.99% were genuine refugees who we were duty bound to help. Yet in the heat of the recent crisis, anybody who pointed out this very obvious fact was immediately shot down in flames as being devoid of compassion. As I said at the time, liberals really need to start deploying their heads as well as their hearts.

  • Christopher Haigh 15th Nov '15 - 12:46pm

    @Stuart – I agree with you that as Liberal Democrats we need to start employing our heads just not our hearts. We are as a party overwhelmingly in favour of the declaration of human rights allowing freedom of religion. The Islamic faith seems to favour draconian apostasy laws forbidding any conversion away from Islam -the complete opposite. Can anybody tell me how Islam short of the suggested reformation of its ideas can be reconciled with our own views on human rights?

  • Stuart.,
    some good points.
    It’s also worth noting that the crusades barely dented the Islamic world were as the empire building from the Middle East pushed deep into Mediterranean Europe, Eastern Europe the Baltic region as well as into China, India and Indonesia. The thing I’ve always found odd is that people trying to understand these political; drives quite rightly see European Imperialism as a bad thing, but seem to believe that the grievances that surround the collapse of the Ottoman empire and the crusades are justifiable. To be honest, I sometimes think there’s a tendency to try to pin problems on one simple set of arguments. So you get these fads for blaming Israel, America, the Empire etc.

  • No, ‘Jedibeeftrix’, you are making the classic key mistake that shows up pretty much every ‘eurosceptic’ argument I’ve ever seen.

    Having spend decades lobbying against, voting against and blocking any proposals to grant sufficient legal powers, funding and institutions to the European Union for it to provide adequate service outside of fairweather times, eurosceptic leaders and commentators then turn around and condemn the European Union for failing to provide adequate service outside of fairweather times. The EU has no institutional responsibility or capacity to provide a secure border control for the external border of Schengen, the sceptics and the member states in the Council made sure of that. Yet here you are saying its the EU’s fault for not providing a secure frontier. You cannot have your cake and eat it.

    Schengen is a great achievement. It must be linked to common defense of the frontiers, or it cannot stand. You might sit there and call for the throwing of the baby out with the bathwater, but the rest of us should expect better from the leadership. I sincerely hope we get it, because the alternative to a managed, orderly response to this that respects the need for security, humanitarianism and community relations is simply that legal clampdowns will alienate communities, border controls will isolate refugees outside of any kind of organisation and ultimately either drive them back into the arms of our enemies, or leave them vulnerable to the sort of reprisal attacks that saw the Calais camp set on fire yesterday.

    The solution in Europe is for us to share the burden that is so obviously beyond the capacity of any one state to bear. We must share the responsibility for security at the frontier. We must share the responsibility for accommodating refugees however we can, and I accept that in the wake of these attacks that means we will likely be building camps in Greece similar to the ones in Turkey. And we must act together to share intelligence and information between member states – regardless of our border controls or our security measures, terrorism does not respect borders and the law must coordinate above and beyond them.

  • Denis Loretto 15th Nov '15 - 7:39pm

    Just to make the point – the Schengen Agreement eliminated passport examination and border controls within the EU, or more accurately the grouping of EU countries who are party to the agreement. It provides for and indeed demands border controls at the external border around that grouping of countries. Clearly weaknesses in these controls have exacerbated the current refugee problems but repealing Schengen would not help that. Some countries in the Schengen area will feel that they would police the external border better than those countries who are charged with that responsibility and will be tempted to consider opting out of Schengen but this will not solve any problems at the periphery.

  • Helen Dudden 16th Nov '15 - 7:00am

    On line with the Daily Mail there is suggestions from certain areas of the population, that we have Sharia Law as part of our laws.

    Do you feel that its acceptable?

    As someone who attends a shul, I would not expect anyone without those beliefs to accept my laws. Eating Kosher, the get, that too is under review.

  • Alex Macfie 16th Nov '15 - 8:21am

    No Sharia courts as such, but there are arbitration/mediation panels for civil disputes. I find this worrying too, as people from a particular community could be pressurized into accepting mediation via a sharia tribunal. I favour “one law for all”, but I don’t think the Daily Fail hysteria on this issue is very helpful, and the people campaigning against applying sharia law in this country tend to want nothing to do with the Daily Fail agenda.

  • Alex Macfie 16th Nov '15 - 8:21am
  • Helen Dudden 16th Nov '15 - 9:12am

    Sharia law tends to favour the male rather than female in divorce, that is why a mother can lose her children.

    In JC very recently there is a talk about tightening the use of the ‘get’ to prevent misuse. I asked my Rabbi what he felt this week, he agrees that control is not what we wish within our laws, by one person. I agree with the stand of the Bet Din.

  • Working in France and previously in Belgium, may I offer a more local slant on the Paris atrocities?

    Whilst some direct Syrian involvement is likely, most of the murderers were home-grown and they were sheltered locally. Perhaps we should consider whether local issues helped create a particularly toxic climate.

    First, the outrage is not the first to have been linked to the deprived Brussels borough of Molenbeek. It is the only place in Belgium where the number of people leaving to join the jihadists is still increasing. It is widely considered a kind of no-go area. Because of linguistic division, Brussels, with its 6 police jurisdictions that struggle to communicate with each other, is weakly administered and unable to sort the place out. Perhaps, rather than actively participating in the military intervention against ISIL, the country’s authorities should treat this as a priority.

    Second, France has an acute problem integrating its ethnic minorities. Probably the main cause, which I witnessed as HR Director, is widespread indirect discrimination. People who speak with even a slight accent, people who appear to have multiple identities even if they protest that they are primarily French, find it very hard to get good jobs.

    Over a long career I have seen how ethnic statistics have helped tackle discrimination in Britain. Yet here, they are illegal. They are deemed contrary to the ‘Republican Principle’ which says that the Republic does not recognise ethnic difference and therefore no-one can be asked their ethnic origin. In practice, the lack of statistics blocks any progress in reducing discrimination. No wonder that a small number of those who suffer from the ensuing climate of social exclusion fall prey to the call of mediaeval fanatics.

    It would be wrong to ascribe uniquely to local factors the terrible tragedies that have struck Paris. They may yet occur elsewhere. But behind the media portrayal of the suffering and reaction of relatively well-off people living in attractive neighbourhoods, lies another reality; that of suburbs suffering deprivation mainly due to ethnic origin, which government could but refuses to tackle.

    The killers may have draped themselves in the black flag of fanaticism, but it is possible to argue they and the people who harbour them are more the product of local issues than of some kind of geopolitical conflict. Recognising this might help reduce the likelihood of further atrocities.

  • “Solidarity with Paris”

    What does that empty statement mean.?

    Je Suis Paris as the ringtone on your phone perhaps, a twitter campaign, or a family rendition of three verses of ‘We are the World’ before eating your cornflakes and getting stuck into the Guardian every morning.

    I’m sure the people of Paris and wider Europe will feel safe in their beds, and be be eternally grateful!!

  • Helen Dudden 16th Nov '15 - 2:44pm

    Why are a large immigrant population trying to leave these countries?

    Was the constant news items of late on the terrible acts of these terrorists a nightmare?

    No! I don’t know why its continued for so long, shocking and degrading.

  • Alan
    “are more the product of local issues than of some kind of geopolitical conflict.”
    As can be said of the bombing at the Erawan shrine in Bangkok.

  • Richard Underhill 16th Nov '15 - 4:33pm

    The press and media are full of Syria and Paris.

  • Helen Dudden 17th Nov '15 - 8:37am

    A very wise move by the Government to increase security. No one has the right go bring terror into our lives.

  • Helen Dudden 17th Nov ’15 – 8:37am……..A very wise move by the Government to increase security. No one has the right go bring terror into our lives……………..

    As was shown in London 7/7 bombing and both Paris attacks, the perpetrators are mostly ‘home grown’…..”Security” appears as a ‘catch all’ phrase but needs to be carefully thought out…Like the infamous ‘stop and search’ policy, actions often have the opposite effect to that intended and increase the radicalization of the young…

  • Richard Underhill 17th Nov '15 - 4:45pm

    David Cameron has told the Commons that he intends to respond personally to the recent report of the Foreign Affairs committee. The UK is underpressure from allies, etc. The events in Paris change the situation. So does Russian policy.
    In other words the PM is moving towards having another vote on UK military intervention in Syria.
    By having a debate in the Commons he hopes to find out how many and which Labour MPs are likely to support him.
    Yvette Cooper was asked today whether there should be a free vote. She seems to speak softly and carry a big stick.

  • Richard
    Again the vote will be more to do with upholding the Anglo-American relationship not finding a lasting solution to the problems of the Middle East.

  • Richard Underhill 20th Nov '15 - 5:34pm

    Denis Loretto 15th Nov ’15 – 7:39pm ” .. the Schengen Agreement eliminated passport examination and border controls within the EU, or more accurately the grouping of EU countries who are party to the agreement.” EU and EEA members. Norway has a long border with Sweden.
    Manfarang 18th Nov ’15 – 4:41am Yes, but although our aircraft are few, as the Foreign Affairs committee said, they are said to have facilities which some allies lack.
    We should also think about “sufficiency of protection” which is the legal wording for deciding whether a country is “safe”.
    If a country is not a full signatory to the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the status of refugees it is not considered safe. If, as happened to the Republic of Albania once, there is a riot destroying the only prison in the country, it may be unsafe until another prison is built. If gangsters operate without effective hindrance from the authorities, as has sometimes been said about parts of Jamaica, its status may be challenged. No country can be perfectly safe so not all harm can be prevented, but if a country has effective systems of law enforcement in both policing and independent courts it would have a sufficiency of protection.
    Despite and because of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris the French government is doing a lot to try to protect its residents. The UK judiciary would be likely to make an objective judgement that France has a sufficiency of preotection. That would be a contemporaneous decision by an independent judiciary, separate from our alliance with our neighbour in NATO or our joint membership of the EU.

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