In June, the Liberal Democrats and Tories joined forces in support of an unbelievably unjust report “on common standards and procedures for the return of third country nationals residing illegally”.
European Labour MEPs, tried to amend the report to prevent unaccompanied children from being deported, unless their family or guardian was able to look after them when they were returned to their home country. There were obviously concerns that if unaccompanied minors were deported, alone, without any supervision, they could fall victim to paedophiles or child slavery or any of the other myriad of dangers that we know could occur.
Almost all Tory and Lib Dem MEPs voted against this specific amendment.
The UK opts out of EU wide immigration legislation preferring to create its own national legislation. Here at the European Parliament, protocol dictates that when a report does not affect their country MEPs can vote on individual amendments but should abstain from voting on the whole report, passing it into legislation. That was exactly what both Labour and Tory MEPs did.
Lib Dem MEPs, however, threw protocol to the wind and voted in favour of the whole report. They backed a raft of draconian measures, including deporting children, with little concern for their welfare after they had been deported.
As I have said before, with such a hard-right agenda it is difficult to see where the word ‘liberal’ fits into Liberal Democrat. Mind you, when Lib Dems vote for directives such as this one it’s hard to see them as true ‘democrats’ either.