Italy’s border is our border too


All the time the UK remains in the EU, or remains in on current terms, our borders policy is mutually dependent on border controls elsewhere in the EU. In some senses Italy’s borders are our borders too. We need to know how to influence this policy, all the time the issue of the excessive powers the EU enjoys in the UK remains unresolved and we remain committed to Labour’s EU borders.

The recent tragic loss of life in the seas to the south of Italy have  brought a response from the Italian authorities. They are  now using more of their military force to patrol and to offer help to any vessel in difficulties. We should all respond to distress by wishing to help.

The question, however, remains how should the EU respond to the underlying  crisis?  In an ideal world people seeking entry into the EU would do so through regular legal channels. Italy would make decisions based on the facts of each case.  People seeking asylum would find a home. There are  restrictions on economic migrant numbers and qualifying requirements.  The arrival of a large number of illegals greatly complicates the situation. If Italy grants them all admission she has overturned the rules and the legal system and has effectively moved to open borders with the rest of the world. If she tries to send them all back to where they came from there will be difficulties over asylum rights and human decency.

Somehow Italy has to assert her legal controls. She needs to reward those who apply legally and meet the requirements.  She needs to set realistic rules that balance the wishes of those wanting to come with the needs and views of  Italian taxpayers and voters. Whilst offering humanitarian assistance to those whose lives are threatened, she needs to avoid sending a perverse incentive for more to risk their lives by taking to the seas in overcrowded and dangerous boats. We all have an interest in Italy finding the right balance between admissions and refusals, and getting across the message that a dangerous sea voyage with unreliable organisers and boats is not a free passage to the EU but a worry for all concerned and a bad risk for those embarking on it. 


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  1. lifelogic
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    A very difficult problem with no easy solutions that I can see. If you make it safer and take them all in you just encourage yet more to try, some dying in the process. But there are few problems that the EU cannot and does not make far, far worse.

    The ECHR, EU rules and the open EU borders make the risk more worthwhile taking. The UK should clearly get out of all of these and take back full control of who can and cannot live in the UK. If the UK government cannot even control who lives in the UK then it is not really much of real government at all.

    Still lots more legal aid work for parasitic lawyers (for us all to pay for) still it’s an ill wind as they say.

    The best solution is to encourage their countries to develop into places that people want to live, but that too is hugely difficult.

    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      ‘The best solution is to encourage their countries to develop into places that people want to live, but that too is hugely difficult….’

      Indeed, but it is far more sensible to encourage trade with these countries rather than blowing them to kingdom come or getting your proxies to do it for some supposed political advantage…..The old problem of Cameron’s wonky compass.

      What have we seen over the last years Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Balkan countries, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Syria….all these wars/political destabilisation operations have led to chaos and mass migrations. They are often not asylum seekers according to the 1951 Convention, but are fleeing instability. The West cannot and should not absorb these movements. We need skilled people and we should be training our own people as needed. This is all to pay for politicians vanity…..

      It will be Nigeria, and other African countries soon. It is a difficult situation, but we have to be tough and not allow people to think that if they risk a journey then they will get in. They risk the journey because they know that they have a chance because of our previous practices.


    • Bazman
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Why is the BBC and especially C4 always telling us how elitist and right wing North Korea is? It’s just propaganda.

    • Ralph Musgrave
      Posted October 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      “No easy solutions”? Saudi Arabia has a very simple solution to their potential problem, namely all the would be immigrants who want to help themselves to some of the oil wealth: just refuse them citizenship. And send the (guest workers ed) home after a year or two.

      I’m not saying the UK should follow exactly and precisely in Saudi’s footsteps. But the “problem” could be solved by a fifteen year old. The real problem is the politically correct pro-immigration brigade.

    • APL
      Posted October 19, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      lifelogic: “A very difficult problem with no easy solutions that I can see.”

      The problem of migration across the Med hasn’t been improved by Camerons destruction of the Gaddafi regime.

      I understand that Italy were paying Gaddafi to restrict migration. Now that regime has been destroyed, we’re getting more hapless individuals attempting to cross the med. in overloaded unseaworthy vessels.

      +1 for Cameron’s foreign policy. [/sarcasm]

  2. Mark B
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    No !!! The question we should be asking, “Why are these people leaving their homeland ?” No one is forcing them to leave are they ? Whatever the reason, we need to tackle it at ‘source’.

    Italy’s borders are not our borders, irrespective of the laws or what people might think. The EU has rules regarding boarder controls, Even if you are a member of Schengen, under certain circumstances the Commission can grant you permission to close you borders, even to EU immigrants. Its a question of political will.

    • Acorn
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget poor little Malta. They have been done twice by ECHR for locking them up in unsavory conditions and for too long. Good job we gave that Island away back in the sixties. Think of the headlines the UK would be getting now!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      “… the Commission can grant you permission to close your borders … ”

      For which we would be duly grateful, of course.

      Alternatively our Parliament could grow a spine and declare that it, not the EU Commission, will decide which foreigners are allowed into our country.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      They leave for the same reasons that people left the Highlands of Scotland for the industrial cities of the south and overseas 100 years ago. 4% per annum population growth due to western medical intervention, no jobs, not enough fertile land to go round and the vision of a prosperous life with the expectation of exciting cities like London ahead.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        I was with you all the way, until the final two lines of your last sentence. Then you blew it ! ;o)

        • Max Dunbar
          Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

          Yes, the vision is one thing – the grubby reality quite another!

    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Correct, our borders are still at the juxtaposed controls in France and Belgium. We are not part of Schengen. Because of Schengen, Africa effectively has a border with The Channel….


    • uanime5
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      No one is forcing them to leave are they ?

      Well in Syria, Libya, Iraq, and every country where the Arab Spring occurred armed groups may be forcing them to leave.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Then these desperate people should head to the nation closest to them that can provide safety not travel half way round the world past many alternatives to come to the UK.
        The original asylum treaty assumed this was what would happen.

  3. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Could it be that UK policies are a trifle curious? It wants to opt-in Frontex (the Schengen border police) but isn’t part of Schengen and while not being part of Schengen it still wants to be for the benefit of Chinese tourists. Being half in Europe with one hand on the exit door isn’t the best place to be.
    In order to police the Mediterranean and also to make better deals with countries on the other side of the Mediterranean I’m sure a British contribution would be welcome. If you want to become like Norway and Switzerland, why not join Schengen? Then you’d have a full say in these matters. Joining Schengen would also be to the benefit of Ireland, once you leave the EU, your declared objective.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Peter – The ICF GHK report prepared for (not by) the European Commission is an interesting, albeit lengthy, read.

      I am about half way through it and, interestingly, some of the points you raise are mentioned. What is of concern to me though is the silence of the British government over the last three years to their requests for information on this subject.

      Silence is never a convincing response to such requests, and hopefully, the UK government will respond properly on behalf of all those who they represent.

      • David Price
        Posted October 15, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Based on media reports the EU has been quite noisy on this subject yet strangely quite regarding the self determination of the people of Gibraltar, for example. The EU does not have our best interests at heart.

        Your naive faith in the supposed objectivity of ICF-GHK is touching but I suspect unfounded, they do an enormous amount of their business with the EU and would be unlikely to go against the wishes of their paymasters.

        • yulwaymartyn
          Posted October 15, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          Have you read the report?

          • David Price
            Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

            Nope – I read the synopisis of their coverage of Migration & Asylum, a section headed by the EU flag, and the bio of their director who happens to lead projects on behalf of the EU.

            Why would I want to waste days of my life reading an EU funded report by a pro-EU research group when I simply don’t want the interference from the EU to stop.

            Why legitimise their meddling in our affairs by engaging in discussion on their terms.

        • yulwaymartyn
          Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for that. Maybe I am being naive.

          I have read the report (282 pages !) and I suspect you have too.

          Can you give me a few examples where the report is not objective. ? I am sure there are some clear breaches of objectivity and any specific examples would be most appreciated.

    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      The British are not part of Schengen, but we are associate members of Frontex and do play a role in their operations in the Mediterranean.


    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      The UK government would be committing political suicide if it joined Schengen. There would be a huge rush of undocumented foreign nationals currently in Europe to get to the UK. It would lead to a massive increase in trafficking to Europe……There is no immigration control of any realistic effect once a foreign national gets to the UK. Look at the number of enforced removals per year….


      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        @Zorro: political suicide, only because the issues about immigration are grosly misrepresented. The laughable 600,000 “unemployed” benefit tourists, and the UK government’s inability to provide figures to the EC! It’s all fear for populist forces like UKIP. Amusing for the outside world. Schengen is not dangerous, statistics can prove it, just compare the UK with the Netherlands or any other Schengen country

        • yulwaymartyn
          Posted October 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

          Don’t worry Peter. Apparently you don’t need to read the report – but just look at the flag on the front cover. If you don’t like something just don’t read about it. But still give an opinion nevertheless.

          • David Price
            Posted October 17, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

            You mean the unamed report you haven’t identified? If someone doesn’t want the EU meddling in our affairs at all, why should they waste significant amounts of time going through reports that only press the case for the EU?

          • zorro
            Posted October 17, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

            I don’t need to read an EU report to give my opinion. I have quite enough relevant experience….


        • zorro
          Posted October 17, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

          LOL….I have just watched QT and seen Mark Harper say that the net migration figures were ‘robust’……that would be the International Passenger Survey figures which have been widely derided…..……by several sources, and relies on voluntary responses and people telling the truth…..I mean, God forbid that we should have an arrival and embarkation control!


        • zorro
          Posted October 17, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

          What do you want to compare as a result of Schengen? Is that why people are continually trying to cross the Channel without documents to escape Schengen Land?


  4. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Surely the EU,USA, UK and Italy need to carefully look at the reason why so many are flooding to our lands and tackle these underlying problems more rigorously .Why are these African and Asian peoples so scared for their lives that they need entry to a safer climate. There are world stages to ask these vital questions about despotic regimes . It is unfair that our lands should be swamped with the left over fear of other countries cruel management.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      As far as Italy is concerned, they have the reprehensible attitude that their problem with illegal immigration can be greatly alleviated by helping the illegal immigrants on their way to the other countries where they really want to go, not least of course the UK. Some years ago there was a report of church groups in Italy doing exactly that with Albanians who had landed illegally on Italian shores: as they were only in transit there was really no need to keep them from entering Italy, and in fact it was immoral to even try to do that. In their warped view the Christian thing to do was to allow and if necessary even help them to make landfall in Italy, and then just give them whatever assistance they needed to complete their journey to wherever they wanted to go, thereby making them Somebody Else’s Problem.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        Comment missed for moderation here, about church groups in Italy actively helping illegal immigrants on their way to other countries.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted October 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          I can’t yet see a comment I made last night either Denis, about the opposition booing the UK national anthem at Wembley. I posed the reasonable question, I wonder how many of them might live and work here?

          I feel people who come to live in this country, shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds them, and their disrespectful actions are deplorable. But of course, we are so bound up with PC laws, the indigenous citizen has to suffer it, but can’t say anything unless we get labelled ‘racist’ or ‘xenophobic’. Thanks Labour! Very patriotic of you!

          So the PC lefties might like to take account of the fact that my daughter-in-law is Polish, and was equally ashamed,(etc ed).


    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Often the political chaos allows people the opportunity to travel when they would not have done so before….


      • margaret brandreth-j
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Yes probably, but not in overcrowded boats on the high seas.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the EUshould patrol international waters at the edge of the countries where these people are setting off from, and return them back from where they came.

    Not too difficult given the sophistication of radar.

    Yes time consuming and costs money, but this has to be stopped at source if it is to be stopped at all.

    • ken from glos
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Correct.Spot on. Simple.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      So you want the EU to monitor every ship in the entire Mediterranean in case they happen to contain illegal immigrants and need to be rescued (remember if you don’t restrict this to ships in distress you’ll have to check thousands of ships everyday to ensure they don’t have illegal immigrants hiding in them).

      Even with radar (assuming that the smugglers don’t find some way to jam it or makes themselves look like something other than a boat) this will be a massive undertaking and cost a huge amount of money.

      • alan jutson
        Posted October 17, 2013 at 7:08 am | Permalink


        Large ships cannot land on a beach, they dock at ports where customs officials are, as the water is deeper there.
        They also need tugs and pilots.

        Thus only small boats need to be tracked as they are the risk elements because they are often overcrowded and are on occassions sinking.

        Would suggest if a smallish boat has gone into international waters then its going for a purpose fishing, or a possible risk.

        I do not think a fishing boat will jamb a sophisticated warships/customs boats radar do you !!

        It is normal for a country to protect its own coastline and waters from illegal fishing, so what is the difference to patrol someone elses when the task is a joint one.

        Why is it you are so negative on so many solutions/ideas ?.

        Do you ever cross the road, or is it too dangerous ?

    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      This is what the Guardia Civil did when faced with an influx of boats from West Africa in the Canaries. They built up capability in the African countries and stopped the movement of boats to a trickle. That is what happens when you work with countries rather than bombing them to oblivion….


    • Mark B
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      alan said, ” . . . . EUshould patrol international waters. . . . ”

      Pray tell, what with ? They do not possess a Navy. They could of course borrow one, and I know that are in the process of creating an Army of their own – EuroForce, I believe.

      • alan jutson
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        Mark B


        A Joint excercise !

        Happens all the time with NATO.

        Those Countries who take part could be funded out of the EU Budget, just to make it fair that no one or two countries take on the financial burden of doing so.

  6. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Well, this is the kind of thing we are up against, from the President of the European Parliament yesterday:

    “Europe is a ‘continent of immigration’, which needs to open legal immigration channels, says Martin Schulz. He calls for a fairer distribution of refugees within the EU.”

    By a ‘continent of immigration’ he means that a continent which is actively seeking to increase its population through immigration, and of course he is including us in that without paying any attention at all to what we might think about it.

    This is not the first time that a continental politician has presumed to describe Europe in this way: back in 2000 the French Interior Minister, Jean-Pierre Chevenement referred to “Europe, a land of immigration”:


    “France has told its European partners that Europe should be prepared to take in millions of migrants in the next 50 years to offset population decline.

    The idea was put forward in a discussion document at Friday’s meeting of European interior and justice ministers, which France is hosting in Marseille.”

    “The issue of immigration, legal and illegal, is high on the European agenda at the moment especially after the Dover tragedy, in which 58 Chinese people died as they were being smuggled across the English Channel.”

    It would be nice to think that the British government strongly disagrees with the views of Schulz and Chevenement and profoundly believes that the British people have a right to both possess and control their own country, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with this government any more than the last.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Quite right. In today’s Telegraph we read: ” Britain’s “economic, physical and ethical well-being” depends on it playing an “active part” in the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights, the Attorney General has said.”
      I wonder if Dominic Grieve was ever described as a Eurosceptic?

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        Brian–This wondrous announcement from Mr Grieve is as pure an expression purely of opinion as you are ever likely to get and I for one see the exact opposite as the truth in all respects. What on earth is he doing talking about our “ethical well-being”? I thought he was the Attorney General, not that I care much what he is after blather like this. Why is it only in and as regards Europe that we hear stuff like this? There is a rest of the world and I wish we were in it.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Mr Grieve is a eurofederalist, who advised Cameron that it would “create a constitutional contradiction” if MPs voted for an amendment to affirm and protect the sovereignty of Parliament from potential attack by Declaration 17 attached to the Lisbon Treaty.

    • Peter van Leeuwen
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      @Denis Cooper: Controlled immigration is not such a bad idea: The US is a country of immigrants and see how well it is doing. Amsterdam, at the time of the Dutch golden age (some centuries ago) existed mainly of immigrants, current demographic trends in Europe mean that we’ll have a shortage of young people in future. In spite of what fearful people will tell you, immigrants are a net benefit to the UK economy, read the CER study on that subject.
      If my contribution makes it through moderation, you’ll see that I pose the question of UK – versus Schengen: It is currently the UK that insists on participating in Frontex. It could have opted for just patrolling the UK borders, something that, I assume, must be the UKIP approach.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for your advice, Peter; now why don’t you turn your attention to your own country and persuade your own countrymen that they should warmly welcome mass immigration and be perfectly prepared to surrender their homeland to whoever turns up?

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted October 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper: In my country, at least from the Social Democrats, I see a more sophisticated attitude towards immigration, although I don’t want to sound arrogant. There is no mass immigration. Efforts focus on preventing unfair competition from immigrants, indeed our minister went in the publicity this summer, sounding an immigration “orange alert” that the “dykes were in danger of bursting”, but this was all about channeling immigration and making sure that Dutch workers wouldn’t be put at a disadvantage. All the same, today we have 30,000 vacancies in building that cannot be fulfilled, which would harm the Dutch building industry if no immigrants could be found for these specialized jobs. Misusing immigration issues just to be anti-Europe is a bit cheap, the real problems are more complicated than that.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

            None of my business, of course, but it does cross my mind that any country with over 680,000 unemployed should be able to find enough people to fill 30,000 vacancies in building without importing foreign labour.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted October 18, 2013 at 10:42 am | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper: I understand your point, but even with extremely high unemployment, there can be questions of mis-match, and not all can quickly be solved through training, in the longer term may be.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Another great post Denis, but we can go all the way back to 1973 when the Heath government was the first to lose the plot on immigration by initiating the process whereby we gave away Britain’s right to self-determination, and control over our own borders.


    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink


    • peter davies
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      If France want to do so that’s fine – though it should not mean the UK has to follow suit

    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Indeed….’continent of immigration’…a lot of meaningless guff…probably a ‘continet of emigration’ some years ago. Anyway, the EU elite has spoken…they want more lowly paid immigrants, are you all alright with that? (not that they care what you think)


  7. ChrisS
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I read that Italy is to increase its maritime patrols to help deal with the problem

    Unfortunately every time a ship of any European nation rescues these people, that country becomes responsible for them and Europe’s immigration problem becomes worse.

    The only real answer is for Europe to assist North African countries to patrol and rescue the migrants who can then be returned to where they set sail from.

    It would be far cheaper for Europe to help educate and house these refugees in North Africa than it would to allow them into Europe.

    We must keep in mind that by the time Syrian and Afghan refugees, for example, are in North Africa and seeking to come to Europe, they are purely economic migrants. They are not in any danger from their home conflicts, they simply want to get to Europe for purely economic reasons.

    This probably applies to almost all of those trying to get to Italy.

    Europe has quite enough economic migrants to cope with already.

  8. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    JR : ” Labour’s EU borders”
    How do you justify that statement? Your party took us into the EU on 1 January 1973 and since then your party has been in office for 23 of the intervening 40 years. Your party remains just as wedded to our membership of the EU as Labour and the Lib Dems and has done for 40 years.

    Reply Labour gave away the opt out from the borders policy which Conservatives insisted on in office.

    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Well, the Conservatives started the erosion of the embarkation control to ‘save money’…. Is there any evidence that the Conservatives have invested more in border control than Labour?


  9. Douglas Carter
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I can’t quite understand the problem in some ways. If you listen to St. Vince Cable, you would learn that uncontrolled mass immigration is of untold benefit to a nation’s economy. So why isn’t he pressing Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal to take all these priceless human rough diamonds to create the massive economic powerhouses in these nations, as will inevitably follow?

    Perhaps you might choose to pose that of Vince next time you encounter him, John?

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      The ICF GHK report states that migrants are following the jobs. As there are few jobs in Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal it follows that there is a limited inflow. In Germany where there is an incipient labour shortage it is of course a different situation. As the Spanish move there en masse it will follow that employment opportunities will open up in the countries you mention.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Oh my God! Do you see any problems with that? Please tell us.

        • yulwaymartyn
          Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          Yes Tad. Lots of problems with that.

          Its a bit like the Norman Tebbit “get on your bike and look for work” approach all those years ago. Except a bit updated with an airplane!.

          Some will stay and some will move for work. Ever thus. Problems either way. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t etc etc.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted October 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

            But can’t you see what a farce the EU is? It was said by all those who wanted the thing, that it would bring prosperity for every nation. It has done no such thing. It is a train wreck. People are suffering massive poverty and desperation as a consequence of it’s lunacy. The Spanish shouldn’t have to ‘move en masse’ to another member state. It’s just one gigantic b*lls up, yet it’s supporters just refuse to entertain any other way.

            Well there IS a better way, at least for the UK, and it lies well away from the cauldron where EU economies are in melt-down. Europe isn’t the answer, as so many blinkered lovers of it insist. It’s the problem!

      • Douglas Carter
        Posted October 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        …’The ICF GHK report’…

        ‘Vince Cable’ is not ‘The ICF GHK report’.

        One of the main clues in being they are spelled quite differently.

        Mr. Cable wants ‘the most liberal immigration policy possible’ for the UK to improve the economy. If your immigrants as described are ‘following the jobs’ then they are economic migrants only and have no case crossing the Mediterranean to improve their lives – by definition they are not refugees nor escaping from tyranny or oppression. There are plenty of unemployed Britons available to ‘follow the jobs’ and denuded of the path-of-least-resistance, UK employers might choose to employ those britons, rather than inappropriately displaced migrants.

        Nevertheless, Cable’s sentiments are clear (and represent the pro-mass immigration lobby quite well). Apparently limitless numbers of unqualified migrants are immensely beneficial to an economy. No country needs that in the EU more than Greece or Spain. And that’s where they should be encouraged to settle under that logic.

        Donkey logic I grant you. But that’s pro-EU politicians for you.

        • yulwaymartyn
          Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

          Yes but please note that they are not my immigrants. !

          I am not interested in Vince Cable. He does not impress me. I don’t think Vince Cable is worth the time on this blog. I am however much more impressed with a 282 page report compiled with evidence from a mass of separate sources.

          Clearly these are not refugees but economic migrants. In eastern Europe I am told they are called mobile workers (slight shades of Norman Tebbit again).

          The report, as you are probably aware, says that intra EU migration is 2.6% of the total EU population. Roughly 14 million people out of a population of around 55o million. I am not sure that most people, other than perhaps tabloid newspapers editors, would use the word ‘mass’ in this context.

        • Mark B
          Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          Spain would be an excellent place for them too go and remain. They have all those empty houses, and they can fly back and forth to their old homes via many of the unused airports that were built with UK, German, French and other net contributors tax payers money.

          • yulwaymartyn
            Posted October 16, 2013 at 8:27 am | Permalink

            Yes I agree. The only issue for the empty houses is that they would have to fight with the 5.4 million brits who want to buy a foreign property, according to experts for expats. 69% of these want to buy in the EU and Spain is top of the list.

      • zorro
        Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        What evidence is there that there will be more employment opportunities in Spain when people are leaving there? There are no jobs and people leaving will not encourage them to be created.


        • yulwaymartyn
          Posted October 16, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

          Well 2.5 million Brits is a start isn’t? Most of these will be of retirement age and so all the ancillary services that go with that. Spanish labour costs are falling fast and, as we have seen in the UK, if labour costs are squeezed, then jobs are created.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted October 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

            A race to the bottom then, as Bazman would say. So much for the EU giving everybody a better standard of living.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

            With the state subsidising them to bring them up to liveable levels don’t forget.

          • zorro
            Posted October 17, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

            I will join Bazman in ramming that!


  10. David
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    If boat people were sent back then less would come and less would drown.
    Australia has shown these under every Liberal Government for the last 30 years.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Given that the number of people coming to Australia by boat has been increasing over the past 30 years it seems that this method isn’t effective in any way.

      • David Price
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        So you are in Australia then?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        But how many actually get to settle there?

        And you use the word ‘coming’. Is that where you’re located, hence the lateness of your posts?

      • yulwaymartyn
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        Of course Australia has its own problems with immigrants. At the last count there were 22.5 million of them. Most of them arrived by boat as well.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted October 16, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          Are you including the ten-quid Poms in that, and the cons that we kicked out many decades ago?

          • yulwaymartyn
            Posted October 16, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

            yes – they are included. I think that’s the point Tad. Everyone is included.

  11. Neil craig
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Japan and South Korea both operate a net immigration policy of 0.00% which shows that it is possible to do it.

    If there were effective certainty that boat people were not going to be able to stay those attempting it would drop to around zero. The “soft” policy of making immigration illegal but not moving out people who come by illegal and dangerous means is not actually kind to them or ourselves.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Japan is an interesting example with some similarities to the UK. According to their National Institute of Population and Social Researche the population is due to drop from 127 million to 84 million within 50 years. The economically active part of the Japanese population will fall from 50 million to 42 million. This has resulted in the Japanese adopting a points system, similar to the Australian model, but I understand that this has only recruited about a quarter of the migrants that the Japanese were looking for.

      Apparently the right wing Abe government has recently now further relaxed the rules to boost inward migration. Having just come back from there myself, I can confirm that there is rising concern about the high number of older people which is soon to rise to over 40 per cent of the population.

      I may be wrong but I think there are very few, if any, countries that currently have a 0.00% immigration policy. There seems to be a common thread that most developed countries at least are looking for high quality migrants to reverse declining populations. Some have said that this is a time bomb waiting to happen in Europe.

      • alan jutson
        Posted October 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink


        So what happens when all these people who come in get old, do you double immigration, to counter it again, and again, and again.

        Then find that you have to stand on each others heads as the land runs out.

        Do the maths. do the maths, its like compound interest calculations.

        • yulwaymartyn
          Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink


          Yes I think that is indeed what happens – except in countries with declining populations. Japan and Russia being the most obvious.

          In those cases, then, as you say, do the maths and they have to import people just to keep the numbers equal.

          I am never quite sure about this issue of when the land runs out; in Tokyo where I was last month the population is put at 35 million for the greater conurbation. It does still work quite effectively. On another bit of trivia (!) I was told upon arrival at Osaka that this city has a bigger economy than Canada!. There seems to be a disfunctional or even distorted relationship between people and space.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted October 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

            I’m not quite sure if you’re saying that you are ok with the points Alan so eloquently makes. It seems to me, that to cram more and more people into Britain’s finite and limited space, thereby putting massive pressure on housing, roads, infrastructure, services, and our precious open spaces, is to diminish the overall quality of life for everyone.

            What say you of China’s ‘one child per couple’ policy, and let’s not forget the forced abortions for those who get pregnant, but already have one child, as was shown on the UK news not so long ago. In common with China, we have people we don’t really want, although their solution might not find favour with everyone.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          Japan has an ageing population because people aren’t having children or aren’t having enough children. So if the immigrants act the same way as the Japanese it won’t result in overpopulation.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

            You really are a curious (person ed). Japan already is overpopulated, but you say immigrants won’t add to that. How so?

            Oh, and if they don’t have kids, they won’t result in over-population, so is that to be a condition of their residency?

            How would the Japanese government enforce that one then?

          • Tad Davison
            Posted October 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            (just for the record, I didn’t think the edited word that I used in the post above, was that bad. It wasn’t meant as an insult. Believe me, there is no need to call you names, and the reasons should be pretty obvious to everyone).

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 16, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

          The government ensures that every immigrant brings with him an unlimited supply of the elixir of youth, along with his own house and additional land on which it can be erected. Moreover all immigrants must speak good English before they are allowed in, and none is ever permitted to send any of the money he earns out of the country back to his country of origin.

          So basically your fears are entirely unfounded, as all these matters have been carefully considered by the government and the necessary rules have been put in place and are strictly applied.

          • alan jutson
            Posted October 16, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink


            Thanks, had not thought of that.

            Our Politicians think of everything Don’t they !!!

          • yulwaymartyn
            Posted October 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

            Denis – have you been to Margate? the town of my birth.

            There is an abundance of land and empty shops and empty houses and derelict warehouses and empty factories and declining populations ever since the 1960’s. Margate is hardly Tokyo. I could probably add a few more British towns in dire need of funds, people and entrepreneurship.

          • alan jutson
            Posted October 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink


            Yes, was in Margate last year.

            Seems to be rather run down, and according to some people, its where lots of Immigrants are staying and simply living on benefits.

            Still, Mary Portas has some ideas for its transformation I hear with just £100,000 to spend !!!!.

            Personally thinking its an area where we could locate a new, or expand an existing airport, as that would create a bit of much needed work in the area.
            (sentence left out ed)
            Must say though, I do think us having immigration control in Calais is a good idea.
            At least when caught they are returned to France without all of the nonesense and cost of holding them here for weeks, months, years.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted October 15, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        It’s 0.00% net immigration. The tricky word is ‘net’, much loved by the government whether left or right.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Neither of these countries operate a net immigration policy of 0%. Japan has many Chinese, Korean, and Brazilian immigrants. South Korea has many immigrants from China, the USA, Vietnam, Philippines, and Thailand.

      Boat people will continue to come even if there is no prospect that they’ll be allowed to stay because most don’t know whether they’ll be allowed to stay until they get here.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps the UK government should employ some means to get the message across to would-be migrants in their country of origin, that they shouldn’t even try to get into the UK, and save their money, rather than give it to a crooked boat owner. And mean it!

        We see that Labour are now grovelling apologetically for their past mistakes on immigration. The extent of their miscalculation is breath-taking, but Mr Miliband did say, something to the effect that if people wanted to control immigration, then Labour wasn’t the party for them. That says it all, yet some people would give them another chance to wreck it all over again.

        So what of the Tories?

        Well, if an effective immigration policy is measured by their impotence, we are in deep do-do. Only severance from the restrictive harness of the EU will ever give us proper control of our borders once again.

        Tad Davison


  12. Iain Gill
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    A bigger worry is the border into the Irish republic.

    Lots of people who would not be allowed in at Heathrow simply fly into the Irish republic. They can then cross the land border with no checks and come across on the ferry with no checks.

    Another aspect of the open doors immigration in force in practical terms in our country.

    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, the Common Travel Area issue along with the policing of non approved ports. Another problem that E-Borders could have assisted…


    • Mark B
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      Not only that, you have the Eurostar and the Lille run. Many illegal immigrants have been know to use that route and issue have occurred between EU Police and our own Boarder Agency in the past.

  13. Alan Wheatley
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    As you say, the issue has wider implications than just the currently highlighted problems for Italy. And the solution also has a wider compass than just looking to Italy.

    It seems to me that we have entered into a new era of migration brought about by readily accessible worldwide communications. Thus, those living in any part of the World can now compare their quality of life with that of other peoples. Travellers’ tales, books and even radio do not have the impact of pictures, and pictures of everywhere can be accessed from anywhere via the Web.

    So it is hardly surprising that when people see how badly off they are compared to others, compounded with scant prospect of improvement, they seek to go to where things are better. Those migrating have initiative, resolve, and at least some resources and abilities, which are exactly the sort of characteristics needed if there is to be improvements in their current location.

    The size of the issue is, in practical terms, infinite. There is no way that destination countries can absorb all who wish to migrate. Further, the more migration the worse it becomes for both the countries from which the migrants come to which they go to.

    Dealing with sinking boats and the like is but a drop in the ocean in relation to the real issue. Dealing with the real issue requires international statesmanship on a massive scale, but I do not see that happening soon, mores the pity. If ever there was an issue where the UN should take the lead, then surely this is it.

    To end on a more positive note, there could be a practical and acceptable way forward for Commonwealth countries, and this could be a blueprint for the wider World. But get out of the EU first.

  14. forthurst
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Firstly we need to get out of the EU as soon as possible. Second, we need to stop attacking other countries, particularly in the Mediterranean basin, either under the auspices of the UN, NATO or some other ‘coalition of the willing’ because this a major cause of destabilisation leading to people losing everything including their sense of personal safety. Third, we must be prepared, instead of attacking countries which have stable, albeit undemocratic regimes, to provide assistance, not as cash, but as the resources these peoples are uncapable of providing for themselves so that they can build their lives in their own counries. etc ed

    • uanime5
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      The problem is that the dictatorships tend to take most of the aid, spend it on themselves, and make no effort to improve the lives of the poor. The people often don’t like living in a dictatorship, which is why so many Arab countries revolted during the Arab Spring.

      • backofanenvelope
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        The answer to this is to stop giving them money! Build health clinics, schools, roads, wells, whatever….. Train nurses, teachers etc. Pay them directly without the money passing thru’ sticky fingers.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted October 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          Exactly, stop the hand-outs, and permit them to trade freely with us. Free trade will facilitate the building of their own infrastructure, but the EU is an impediment to that with its protectionist ways of working.


      • R.T.G.
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        For example, Muammar Gaddafi took billions of his country’s money to build a vast irrigation project so that he and his cronies could drink lovely fresh water all day long.

        Reply Douobtless others benefitted as well

        • R.T.G.
          Posted October 16, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          Exactly – at home and abroad.

    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink



  15. yulwaymartyn
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I am currently wading my way through the report prepared on behalf of the European Commission by ICF GHK milieu. I am currently on page 98.! As I am sure people on this blog will know this report has been prepared for the European Commission and it is clearly stated therein that the report does not represent the views of the EC.

    I want to read this report in full and with care because I don’t particularly trust those media outlets that just report on the headline figures but so far it seems that between 0.7 – 1.1 % of the total cost of health care in the UK is spent on non-active EU migrants. Non-active EU migrants include school children and pensioners – this does not seem to have been reported with perhaps the necessary clarity.

    Apparently the British government has for the last three years continued to ignore requests to provide information to contribute to this report. Whatever one’s view of this issue that is of real concern.

    An evasive government is not a persuasive government.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      You seem to be indicating in an unintended way, one of the many problems with the EU – the plethora of written material and legislation. You also seem to be making the case for the UK to take more, and yet more immigrants. I wonder how much more of this once green and pleasant land must we concrete over to accommodate them?

    • David Price
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      The ICF-GHK consultancy does a roaring trade in business for the EU and will not bite the hand that feeds it so unlikely to be objective and unbiassed.

      Also, if HMG has not replied how can any credance be given to the magic numbers you cite?

      • yulwaymartyn
        Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know enough about the ICF consultancy and so would defer to your additional knowledge.

        But the second paragraph is intriguing. Are you saying that if a government fails to respond this casts questions upon the other party seeking the response ? Isn’t that the reason why governments and indeed individuals issue strict denials? A failure to respond (especially for three years) indicates evasiveness to me. Malfeasance and non-feasance can be viewed in the same light here. Silence speaks volumes etc etc.

        • David Price
          Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          Your perspective is that the EU and its agents has a right to any and all information held in the UK, that the UK taxpayers should fund numerous civil servants to ferret around and construct lengthy reports and analyses for the EU?

          I suggest the short answer is that the EU has no rights and the reasons for non-cooperation can be varied, certainly I think it premature of you to imply or infer any form of illegality in the abscence of any act or evidence.

          In the absence of official data, which you care about so much, how can you attach much validity to the report and it’s findings.

    • forthurst
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      “…so far it seems that between 0.7 – 1.1 % of the total cost of health care in the UK is spent on non-active EU migrants”

      Those according to the report are estimated maxima and minima assuming that the figures for numbers of migrants by category is accurate and that the age profile of migrants corresponds with that of the host population and extrapolating from that an equal proportionate usage of NHS resources, in other words a guess because the NHS cannot produce figures which it does not keep.

  16. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I’m curious to know when it became received wisdom that a multi cultural society is, by definition, better than a mono culture.

    Everywhere around the world where different cultures exist in the same country or region, I see (problems ed). Why have we been indoctrinated by the idea that we should become a country of many cultures?

    • Mark B
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      Marxist ideology. Destroy National identity and allegiance to ones fellows in society. Create divisions and so unrest. Create false crimes based on hate and so begin to slow process of repression and the loss of free speech. And so on.

  17. Max Dunbar
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    (Para left out ed)

    Dr Redwood, we know that the EU is a disaster but the real problem lies here in Britain with our own politicians so please keep the emphasis for this issue of migration in our parliament. If Italy or Sweden or whoever else choose to allow these people to land that is their choice but don’t let them get in to the UK. We are an island and we look to you to protect us first and foremost.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Arrr! Man the cannons Max and prepare for a broadside. Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit but not (these people -ed).

      • zorro
        Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        These people are not ‘visiting’, they intend to stay permanently.


        • Bazman
          Posted October 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

          AS they can’t leave as they would not be able to return they are here permanently. Are you able to understand that?

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 15, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        Bazman – That’s a very funny comment. Relaxation of borders, however, isn’t a funny subject. Many people have fought and many have died defending this country – it was as much worth defending as it is now worth risking life in a little rubber boat on a high sea to get here.

        Many people are anxious about mass immigration for various legitimate reasons and (before you mention xenophobia) least of all those reasons is creed or colour. It is weight of numbers, pressure on resources, pressure on wages and yes – preservation of our culture.

        How long before Britain becomes like any other poor and fractured country ?

        It’s an obvious question which demands an answer but one that no politician will give us because they are all winging it.

        So please, take the silly smirk off of your face for once, Baz, and take the time to tell us where you think this is all taking us.

        We’re listening.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

          You could just take the Russian answer to piracy. That is where you are taking us, but lets face it the frustration of many of the answers on this site is telling, building a fortress being the main one, but not one on illegal employers who are in the main the reason why illegal workers are able to work here and live often in terrible conditions undercutting British workers. Many are asylum seekers a different and difficult question that you say we should just turn them away do you. Come on tell us should we?

    • Mark B
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      If Sweden, for example, give these people citizenship (EU), then they are entitled to live anywhere within the EU. And that included the UK.

      It is better to send them back and try to deal with the problem there.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        I take your point Mark but trying to deal with the problem there is a gargantuan task and next to impossible. Keeping them out of the UK whether or not the Swedes are stupid enough to give them citizenship is possible but we need the political will to do so, even if that means tearing up EU law here. The incentives to travel to England also need to be removed as much as it is practically possible to do so.

        • Mark B
          Posted October 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          Agreed !

        • Bazman
          Posted October 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          Like holidays legitimate work, business and visiting relatives? Thats that idea sent to Davey Jones Locker Max.

  18. peter davies
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Where is the UN in all this? They seem quite happy to send a planning representative to the UK to help campaign against the so called Bedroom tax but seem unable to come up with solutions in countries that are so bad that people are prepared to risk their lives.

    Realistically we cannot solve the worlds problems but I’m sure the EU could greatly help large parts of Africa by stopping the rigging of food markets through CAP and allow African farmers to trade without barriers. This alone surely would be one answer to reducing poverty in itself.

    And back to the UN – countries which cannot support their people need to look at birth rates, perhaps their too high – surely the UN has to play a role here.

    As for the EU being obliged to take people in – this in my mind should be an individual states prerogative, NOT the EU! It is individual states that carry the can, generate the tax etc – the EU is not a country. Its a sad situation but Italy should be allowed to deal with this issue as it sees it in the way the UK deals with asylum (albeit not very well)

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Well said Peter! I don’t hear many of the EU’s supporters mentioning the rigging of food markets, and the poverty that causes in other countries.


    • uanime5
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      So you want African farmers to undercut EU farmers. While this may help Africa don’t expect EU farmers to like this. Also how will your prevent Africans being forced into slavery and made to work on these farms?

      The UN did try to reduce the population in some countries by providing condoms but George W Bush, and many other Christians, objected to this.

      • backofanenvelope
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        No. We want African farmers to grow things that grow better in Africa and English farmers to grow things that grow better here.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        Which seems fairer to you, giving African farmers the means to feed their own community and creating a local economy and infrastructure, thus removing the incentive for them to leave for a better life elsewhere, or paying tax-payer funded subsidies to EU farmers to keep their prices artificially high for goods we don’t really need in such quantity?

    • Mark B
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Well said Peter. Good post !

  19. They Work For Us
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Illegal immigration is a struggle of wills. Illegal immigrants present themselves on the expectation that a country will not have the will to refuse them entry and deport them. They have the expectation that a country will be more worried about what the EU thinks of them/ says about them other an listening to the voters wishes for immigration to be rigorously controlled. Simplistically it should be possible for Navies to monitor the departure and route of vessels carrying illegal immigrants, intercept them at sea, put them on a landing craft and return them to the country their vessel came from. Unfortunately British politicians lack the iron will to do this and so we will fill up our country to the brim. Only the message that “don’t try to come, you won’t get in and you will have lost the money you paid the traffickers” will deter them.
    I do understand that there are many poor and deserving people in the world but it is not possible to take many of them in let alone all of them.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Illegal immigrants? You mean ‘undocumented workers’ in Newspeak – as if they are all going to be beavering away in no time and contributing wonderfully to the economy.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. The physical size of this country isn’t getting any larger, and we’re already one of the most highly-populated nations in the world. So what’s wrong with the other countries, and why don’t they take their fair share?

      The law was that the first country of entry was the one that dealt with the problem, but I’m sure we’re all familiar with Sangatte and the way the French used to dump on us.


    • Bazman
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Education that they are swooping one set of problems for another is a good idea. How will they support themselves in Northern Europe is a good question. The idea of a benefits lifestyle is your own. Many East Europeans come here with an absurd belief that anyone can start a business and become rich. They then look to the state to support them when this fails and are disappointed. When it is asked of what their own communist state ever did for them and why a capitalist country, as they see it, should help them have no reply. They live in a strange reality that like with us levels out. They become British, a fact forgot by employers looking for ‘magic bullets’ in cheap Eastern European labour… Ram it.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        We have no idea what you are ram-bling on about. How you have the audacity to post such inarticulate rubbish on the internet alongside some very well written replies is astonishing and, furthermore, shows a complete lack of insight. It does Dr Redwood credit that he is prepared to take pity on you.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 16, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          Avast Max. This be so complicated its sinking your ship. Use your witlass

  20. Alte Fritz
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    A Somali commentator remarked just after the most recent tragedy, that those at home see far more evidence of successful migration than lethal failure. Photos of lucky illegal migrants now in London are all the incentives people trapped in failed states need.

    We should make it much harder to get in, irrespective of the EU, and try to help people in such countries prosper at home, probably in spite of their governments.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Exactly – London, the destination of choice – not Rome!


    • Bazman
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      We should use that idea with smoking. Ave a fag and think about it.

  21. Anonymous
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    The only way to deal with this is to have proper countries with borders once more.

    This is *exactly* why we had them in the first place.

    We have this problem because it’s what our leaders want. For ordinary people in Europe it really is over – they are simply going to have to share everything they have.

    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      ‘For ordinary people in Europe it really is over – they are simply going to have to share everything they have…’…..In a nutshell, yes absolutely…the politicians are well aware of the likely consequences of their actions. They know that there will be more people fighting for fewer jobs and homes. They willl treat us mean to keep us keen…..a race to the bottom…They see how easily manageable people can be when they are scrabbling around to survive.


    • ChrisS
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      It is simply inconceivable for there to be a return to national borders within the core countries of the EU. In any event, without defences similar to the former Inner German Border between East and West Germany they would be completely ineffective. Nobody will stand for that !

      The only realistic solution is to beef up the external Land borders where possible and prevent seaborne migrants leaving port.

      If they are rescued by EU registered vessels or maritime patrols they become “our” problem and are almost impossible to remove.

  22. Antisthenes
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    It has been said that Italy is giving illegal immigrants visa to stay if they leave Italy for other parts of the EU. If true that is certainly scandalous. Perhaps to deter ship loads of illegals from entering Europe perhaps the ships captains should be arrested and jailed and the ships impounded. If there are no laws to do so then perhaps the commissioners in Brussels can do something useful for a change and ensure that such laws are enacted.

    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      The Italians do this regularly because they know that there are other countries where the immigrants want to reach. Can you guess which ones?


    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 16, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      “It has been said that Italy is giving illegal immigrants visa to stay if they leave Italy for other parts of the EU.”

      That is precisely the subject of my reply to margaret brandreth-j which is still in moderation.

  23. Bazman
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    The only realistic way of reducing their numbers is to improve their lives and the political situation in their own countries. For many being dead is a worthwhile risk. It’s on par with throwing yourself out of a burning building. As stopping illegal immigrants in Britain. You have to remember they are illegal. We are not talking about asylum seekers here either though many are. Many are here to work illegally for employees so targeting them would be a start. How do you physically stop them from entering? Germany has long porous borders so what happens there? Can’t stop them.
    Taking a ultra right wing view of fit young intelligent, people beating the system to find a better life against the odds. What took you so long?!
    Ram it.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      I’m all for improving the lives of people, especially in under-developed countries, and alleviating poverty and want, but as already stated elsewhere, the EU actually causes some of it. Perhaps we ought to tell the EU to ‘ram it’.

      As for physically stopping them. The methods we used to stop Nazi Germany and Napoleon just walking in, seemed to work pretty well.

      • Bazman
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        Fortress Britain. How is that going to work? Oh dear the fanatasists have got themselves in a spin.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted October 17, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

          Ok then, you seem to disagree with me, how would you go about it?

          And you’ve got the nerve to call me a fantasist?

          • Bazman
            Posted October 18, 2013 at 5:31 am | Permalink

            I would have immigration officials walking down trains shouting Papers! and others with barking dogs outside as the train was stopped in the middle of nowhere.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted October 18, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

            OK, that suggests to me, that you realise illegal immigrants are not wanted and should be turned back. Best then to make that known before anyone even attempts to get into the UK illegally. Advertising boards on vans is one idea that finds favour with a lot of us.

            Now if I was an illegal immigrant, and I knew there were to be immigration officials on the train, I might just be tempted to try an alternative, a boat maybe. If there was the certainty that even a boat would be forcibly turned back, and not allowed to land…………get my drift?

    • Mark B
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      We are not like Germany or any other country on mainland Europe. We have the English Channel. This stops many getting here. Someone mentioned the border with Ireland. We need to address this.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      One minute Baz you are complaining about a “race to the bottom” in terms of wage rates for the less well paid, the next you are saying its ok for immigration be it legal or not, to come here and compete against established standards of living.
      Not really thinking through the effect of your one nation socialist views.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        Nor is it very helpful with hitting green targets, Edward.

      • Bazman
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Unlike you I can think about a number things at the same time and how they would interact with each other. My point is how do you stop them? Maybe we should dig a moat between France and England. 20 plus miles at the shortest point should do it. LOL!

        • Tad Davison
          Posted October 17, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          You’ve convinced me Bazman. Never go out drinking in Barrow-in-Furness. The ale there does funny things to you.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 17, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

            Shipyard towns are always good for a fight whether it be a physical or intellectual showdown. Barrow-in-Furness is not known as the Chicago of the North for nothing. Ram it.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted October 18, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            And you’re proud of your heritage are you Bazman?

            As you so often like to say, ram it!

  24. Seth the pig farmer
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    I fail to see why the receiving country has to consider the wishes of economic migrants. It is surely the duty of those acting in our name to act in our interest in the narrowest possible definition.

    If there is no permanent and measurable benefit to them being allowed in then they should be denied entry.

    Anything else is a dereliction of duty.

  25. Monty
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Regardless of the asylum laws and procedures, the reality is this: Getting into the UK, by any means, is almost a cast iron guarantee of staying in the UK regardless of your eligibility, or your criminal misconduct while here.
    The single most effective measure we could introduce, would be the disallowing of asylum requests from foreign people already on UK territory.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      The really simple measure we could take is to stop giving British passports to foreign nationals; and stop granting indefinite or permanent right of residence. Foreigners could come here to work or study but one day they, and their families, would have to go home.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 16, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Monty, do you get the feeling (as indeed, do I) that the politicians are half-hearted about this problem?

      I am sure they could do far more if they really wanted to, but they seem to want to pay lip-service to it, rather than act decisively. Reducing immigration by a third is nowhere good enough whilst there are unemployed people right here at home.

      By all means, let’s encourage those from abroad with talents we cannot source locally, but we don’t seem to be ensuring our own people are equipped with the right skills. Even basic literacy and numeracy is not where it should be.


      • Monty
        Posted October 18, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        In answer to your first question Tad, I fully agree. On the subject of controlling immigration, every recent government has been behaving like a teenager doing the housework, abysmally, on purpose.
        As regards your final point, I am convinced that the dis-education of several generations of our young people, has been a feature, not a bug, of the state education establishment. Governments, of all stripes, have tolerated that since the state grammar schools were trashed in the early 70s. We don’t need to import skilled foreigners. We need to stop sabotaging the skills of our own young people. We have 60 million, that’s way more than enough. Even with the demographic stresses, we don’t need immigrants, we need our own youngsters to be educated, skilled, employable, and in work instead of on the dole.

  26. Tad Davison
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Be sure to see Sky News’ item on immigration and sham marriages. Why should so many want to come here, if we weren’t such a soft touch?


    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 16, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      And Channel 4 are doing a piece on Poland’s youth wanting to get to the UK. Seems JR’s blog has stolen a march on all of them!


  27. sm
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    The answer is don’t vote for any of the current incumbents or parties who continue to support with their votes these realities. Remember elections are looming and do not fall for spin lies and deceit.

    Actions are all that counts.

  28. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    The answer is to insist that all applications for immigration to EU Member States are processed in the state of origin. Boats carrying people illegally from, say, Libya should be halted just outside Libyan territorial waters. If the skipper won’t turn back, sink the boat. Some people desperately wanting to leave Libya will be economic migrants, others will be Gaddaffi supporters – whom we would welcome with open arms??!!

    Reply: I do not agree to sinking the boat and endangering lives.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply. Many countries such as Libya (and elsewhere in Africa and the Indian sub-continent) have a high birth rate and specialise in exporting PEOPLE. They have no policy on family planning and, were they to do so, they would be opposed by the heads of organised religion, specifically Islam, Catholicism and Buddhism, within their countries.

      So if my solution is too brutal, what is yours? Leave the EU? (close ed) the channel tunnel?

    • Monty
      Posted October 18, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Reply to John’s reply:

      Nobody should be prepared to countenance sinking boats.
      But a serious policy would require a number of responses, none of which would involve the entry of these people into British society, at which point they would be free to disappear. Keep them off the mainland. Intercept them, and take them somewhere else.
      Measures could include the following:

      1. Introduce stringent visa requirements for all non EU citizens. All costs to be borne by the visa applicant, not the UK taxpayer.

      2: Undocumented passengers arriving by plane should be detained airside, and returned to their departure airport All costs, plus considerable fine, to be borne by the airline.

      3: Undocumented passengers arriving by Eurostar, or ocean carrier, to be subjected to the same regime.

      4. Offshore re-settlement camps in which the occupants receive food, shelter, medical treatment, while their case for asylum is being heard. Thus none of these people would set foot on the British mainland until their application was successful.

      Reply The government has amongst other things introduced full UK border controls in Calais to avoid people crossing the Channel who are not eligible to enter the country, and has raised Visa fees substantially.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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