There has been some disgraceful treatment of refugees across Europe in recent days. The Danish parliament has passed a law forcing refugees to surrender their valuables on arrival. Asylum-seekers in Cardiff have been required to wear coloured wristbands to receive food. Our own Government is still “considering” whether to take in 3,000 unaccompanied children who have fled the Middle East’s war zones. Quite a way to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
Great currents of fear about refugees are swirling around the Continent. Some of this anxiety relates to culture, some to crime, some to terrorism, but much is economic in nature. And there are many economic myths around asylum-seekers.
First, the numbers. One prevalent idea is that Europe is bearing the brunt of the human fallout from the conflicts of the Middle East. There has certainly been a pronounced pick-up in asylum applications in the European Union: 995,000 in 2015 alone…
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