A top EU official is urging British politicians to stand up to the ‘bull****’ stereotypes about immigrants arriving in the UK.
François Crépeau, the UN special rapporteur for migrants’ rights, spoke out after the UK refused to support search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean Sea for migrants who get into difficulty trying to make the crossing.
The Home Office has argued the rescue efforts should be abandoned all together to deter migrants from making the trip.
Mr Crépeau said he was concerned about the rise of anti-immigration parties and the failure of politicians from established parties to challenge what they are saying.
He told The Independent: "The fantasy is that there is a core British culture that was created probably 2,000 years ago and carried on, and now it’s being threatened by all those barbarians that are coming to our gate. This is utter bull****, but who is going to say this?
"That is why I think we have a problem with political conversations that we can’t have."
He pointed out that the ‘Cool Britannia’ of the 1990s had been created by a multi-cultural “diverse, open society” that was in danger of disappearing. Britain, he said, would not “be cool” if it adopts further anti-immigration policies or is ruled by anti-immigration parties.
In addition, he called for changes at EU level to ensure there were more legal ways for immigrants to work in EU countries. Mr Crépeau said that currently, economic migrants attracted to the EU are often exploited because they are forced to accept below the minimum wage and live in poor conditions.
He added: “We have found a system to subsidise a series of sectors of our economies by people who have no power and can be exploited at will. This was the slavery system in the old days.”