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Editorial Refugees are our responsibility

HEARTBREAKING images of refugees occupying railway stations and clashing with riot police as they seek to escape cramped internment camps in Greece show how appallingly European countries, Britain included, have behaved towards people fleeing genocide and war. That the camp residents would take such risks at a social media rumour of a safe route north shows how desperate they are.

Britain is more culpable than most countries in having created the refugee crisis. Libya, where we joined France and the US to smash the Colonel Gadaffi government, is again in a state of civil war, with strongman General Hifter ordering his troops to march on the capital Tripoli. We helped the US invade Afghanistan, still at war 18 years afterwards, destroyed Iraq engendering the birth of the Isis terror group, waded into the Syrian war on the side of jihadists and provide logistical help and deadly weapons to the Saudis as they bomb Yemen back to the stone age. 

Increasingly xenophobic governments police the EU’s Fortress Europe boundaries, foremost among them Italy, where rescuing refugees from drowning or extending the hand of friendship to asylum-seekers are now activities that can land you in jail.

But Britain can hardly take the moral high ground while we slam the gates shut in the faces of refugees, many of them children, fleeing wars we are involved in. We have an obligation to help.

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