Scottish charities have added their voice to calls for the U.K. to admit many thousands of refugees and migrants currently living in Calais in France for humanitarian treatment, believing it will have a massive economic benefit.
Health and charity groups in Scotland wrote to the Prime Minister, Theresa May, on Friday, calling for assistance on humanitarian grounds. They are urging for ten humanitarian visas for stranded refugees and migrants to be offered to them under current programs.
May is expected to announce a decision to suspend the U.K.’s free movement policy in January. The charity’s letter to her says a decision on a solution to the refugee crisis in Calais will enable the country to provide help on humanitarian grounds.
The letter claims the Calais crisis could cost Scotland between £4.5 billion and £6.5 billion ($5.9-9.3 billion) in economic losses if nothing is done.
The Prime Minister was visited Calais refugees by French President Francois Hollande last month and is scheduled to visit Calais next month with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The shelters that hold the migrants and refugees are now overpopulated and are often surrounded by razor wire, separating the two areas.
Health experts have warned of many of the migrants and refugees suffering from respiratory problems and infection as a result of the overcrowding. They are also coping with unsanitary water sources.
Hospitals in Scotland are also worried that without aid, the Calais crisis could spark a flood of similar incidents to the one at Calais in 2015.
Scottish charity Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) is recommending open borders for the asylum seekers.
May has previously shown opposition to the plans.