Bishop Paul McAleenan, the Lead Bishop for Asylum and Migration for England and Wales and Bishop William Nolan, President of Justice and Peace Scotland have issued a joint statement welcoming the recent Sandhurst Treaty, which sees the UK agreeing to pay £44.5 million to improve border security in Calais and Dunkirk and France pledging to improve the processing of child refugees, saying it will ‘streamline the process of migration from France to the UK’.
They added: ‘The Government and the Civil Service must be held to account in implementing this decision, especially in applying the Dublin III Regulations which will allow children to be reunited with their families in the UK.’
They also praised the governments of France and the UK for their efforts in the fight against organised crime in the Dunkirk and Calais areas, and called for ’greater cooperation’.
The bishops also ask that greater care be taken of unaccompanied minors saying ‘we strongly regret that this opportunity has not been used to commit to an increase in the number of unaccompanied minors that will be welcomed into this country. We call on the Government to reconsider this position. The innate God-given dignity of all human life, especially that of innocent children, must not be ignored.’