IN THE drama over Brexit, the Government’s decision to sign the United Nations Migration Pact – despite its pledge to control our own borders – has slipped by almost unnoticed. Leaders of some 150 countries, including the United Kingdom, have agreed to this hubristic document, a ‘global pact’ couched in the language of humanity that would manage global migration (as if) and prevent ‘suffering and chaos’ (as if).
It has gone ahead despite opposition and the withdrawal of several nations, including the United States. In less compliant Europe, rows over the accord have erupted. Belgium’s ruling coalition government has collapsed as a result; Slovakia’s foreign minister has tendered his resignation.
It is hardly surprising that it has roused such a response. It is an extraordinarily ambitious and interventionist document. It lays out 23 objectives to open up legal migration and discourage illegal border crossings, and ‘manage’ the more than 250 million now on the move globally.
The US government disavowed these negotiations late last year. Since then other alarmed countries including Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia have pulled out of the process.
On Friday the US took aim again at the pact, labelling it ‘an effort by the United Nations to advance global governance at the expense of the sovereign right of states’.
In the meantime Mrs May’s Government has expressed no such concern but in its usual inimitable way has promised one thing while doing another.
Its response to British unease, typically politely expressed in a petition (with more than 123,000 signatures) which called on ministers NOT to support the UN Global Compact on Migration, our Government claimed that the agreement could ‘support global co-operation on migration without affecting the sovereignty of all countries to control their own borders’. Really?
You can read the Government’s full response here.
Once again we are being sold down the river and can only the hope that this UN intervention is as ineffective as others before it have been. The word ‘control’, please note, appears nowhere in the final Compact document.
Under its humanitarian guise the aim of the pact is to make illegal immigration legal, to turn pathways which are now ‘irregular’ into regular ones: ‘We commit to adapt options and pathways for regular migration in a manner that facilitates labour mobility . . . with a view to expanding and diversifying availability of pathways for safe, orderly and regular migration.’
Worrying as well is that opposition to this regularisation of mass migration looks set to be ‘institutionalised’ as a hate crime. Objective 17 of the Compact reads: ‘Eliminate all forms of discrimination and promote evidence-based public discourse to shape perceptions of migration’.
It is of course far easier for the UN to play this blame game, and appeal to Western tolerance and hospitality (and guilt), than to address the root cause of the problem – the vicious, intolerable and failing regimes from which so many citizens want to flee. These are the regimes whose conscienceless leaders sit at the highest UN table and are behind this pact. They are, as Karen Harradine described it on the UN’s anniversary, members of a club for tyrants run by tyrants. Until that corruption at the heart of the UN is addressed, there is little chance of managing global migration.