Tag Archives: titan

Titan submarine, Channel crossing and the Borders and Nationality Bill

I am an early bird. I usually wake up around 6am each day and without a need for caffeine, I am able to switch on my laptop and work almost immediately. My morning routine includes a cup of tea and … BBC Breakfast. Laptop on, TV on and I am ready to crack on!

In recent weeks, many of us were following closely a story of the missing submarine, Titan. It has dominated our screen for quite some time. I often wondered why are we so “obsessed” with it? Is it because it relates directly to the tragic story of the Titanic? Is it because we, as humans, like to push and challenge ourselves, explore areas of the planet, oceans, which seem to be unreachable? Or was it because of the social and financial status of individuals who tragically died?

One morning, as I was sitting in my living room, my wife made an interesting observation. The story of the Titan has captured the attention of the global audience. However, the story of a migrant boat that sank in Greek waters, almost the same week, has barely made the news, in comparison. Both stories have very different beginnings and yet, they both have the same end. The boat in Greece was overloaded, full of people, who were fleeing war, poverty and prosecution. The Titan looks small and tiny, however its passengers were billionaires with apparent “passion for exploration”. They each had to spend thousands of pounds to be part of that adventure. This was all happening during the Refugee Week, an initiative, which helps to address the challenges, promote and celebrate the achievements of refugees.

In recent weeks, months and years, the UK government has been quite “busy” dealing (or not) with the channel crossing. Only a year or so ago, MPs were debating the Borders and Nationality Bill, which has previously received a lot of media and political attention.

Quite recently, I came across a very interesting report produced by the Refugee Council. In the year ending June 2021, 37,235 people applied for asylum in the UK, a 4% decrease on the previous year. What has changed significantly is the method of traveling –  from freight transit to Channel boat crossing.

Most people would be aware that there are limited alternative ‘safe routes’ available for many of the top nationalities crossing the Channel. What is quite interesting, the UK did not resettle a single person from Kuwait, Yemen or Vietnam in the period January 2020 to May 2021 and only one person from Iran was resettled and Iranians are the top nationality for people crossing the Channel.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 12 Comments
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