Economic migrants to the EU

Yesterday news came that the French have blocked the border with Italy to impede the progress of illegal economic migrants. This is against the Shengen rules they signed up to. Italy demands “burden sharing”, seeking a system of quotas for all EU states to share the migrants she lets in to her country. The UK has exercised its opt out from any such measure, having in the past stood apart from Shengen common frontiers.

The problem with the burden sharing policy is it acts as an open invitation to hundreds of thousands of potential migrants to come to the EU. Is it a helpful policy  policy to offer a better life to all the brightest, best and most energetic people in poorer countries, as it will make the growth and greater prosperity of those places that much more difficult to achieve?

I heard a difficult  question recently  about  the issue of the UK’s role in the Mediterranean. Why we did not ask the navy ships to go to the ports in Libya where the people traffickers operate and offer free passage to economic migrants to spare them getting on to the dangerous boats and subsequently needing rescue? The first response someone else offered  to the question was for him not to suggest such a bad policy. The UK  after all does not welcome illegal economic migrants into the EU, so would not wish to offer them free passage in naval vessels. The person pursued his case. He said that surely it was similar to what the government is doing, but with the added advantage that the people we are trying to save from the waters of the sea out of their dangerous boats would no longer be at risk if we transported them all the way.

The question revealed the tension  at the heart of current policy. The UK is a decent country so it does not wish to stand by and watch as people drown when we and others like us can help save lives. The navy is doing good and has stopped people losing their lives. We have a great humanitarian impulse. The UK also has a policy of not encouraging illegal economic migrants. If we pick people up at sea and deliver them to the very place they wished to go illegally, we could b e offsetting  the policy of refusing illegals entry into the EU. If Italy grants these migrants EU permission to stay and work in the EU they can then travel to the UK as legal migrants.

There are many ways that the UK could bring its humanitarian instincts into line with its opposition to illegal economic migrants arriving in the EU. It could do more with the world community to stabilise and encourage a prosperous peace in the countries people are fleeing. It could do more with the local authorities in the ports where they operate and with the world community to stamp out people trafficking. It could if all else fails continue to help save people in distress at sea, but take them back to their port of departure. The ports of departure surely should be made more responsible for their fate, as those ports fail to root out the people traffickers and allow unseaworthy boats to attempt the Mediterranean crossing. They allow the cruelty of the traffickers.


  1. Dame Rita Webb
    June 17, 2015

    Its easier than that all the UK needs to do is introduce “Ellis Island rules” i.e. no free money, no free house and if you are ill or have a criminal record you are not coming in. While if you break the law while you are here you are on the next boat out.

    1. Mike Stallard
      June 17, 2015

      Have you never heard of the ECHR?

      1. turbo terrier
        June 17, 2015


        Therin lies the problem.

        A hell of a lot of people’s perception is, that you commit crime especially very serious crime you lose your rights. It has to be more than just doing the time in exceptional cases.

      2. Hope
        June 17, 2015

        Libya would not be such a basket case if not for Cameron’s unwise intervention. We need to know what part UK resources were used to overthrow and kill Gadaffi? Cameron spoke of regime change when there was no legal authority to do so. Thatcher got it right to defeat Hussien but not take over the country, Blair and Cameron got it horribly wrong.

        The navy should not be used as a travel agent for immigrants. Stop the problem at source. The Italian PM is reported to threaten to issue temporary visas if he does not get help! Another EU mess.

        1. Jerry
          June 18, 2015

          @Hope; “Thatcher got it right to defeat Hussien but not take over the country,”

          It was nothing to do with Thatcher, by 17 January 1991 (when the combat phase began) Thatcher was non longer the UK’s PM, that decision rested with Bush, Major and others.

          “Another EU mess.”

          Another europhobe who doesn’t understand that a lot of this mess has been caused by the UN, the results of which are just (quite literally) washing on the coast lines of the EU member countries.

      3. Dame Rita Webb
        June 17, 2015

        Yes and the British people are supposed to bend over backwards and accept rulings from “judges” in such flourishing democracies as Azerbaijan?

      4. ferdinand
        June 17, 2015

        Yes, and regrettably that is one of the problems. This whole issue needs an early re-think.

    2. Anonymous
      June 17, 2015

      All too late, Dame Rita.

      It is odd to see politicians planning, debating and policy making as though there is no immigration crisis. Utterly bizarre. Are they collectively insane ???

      This is an utter disaster for all of us. At present rates everyone in this country is going to be adversly affected within the term of this government.

  2. Gary
    June 17, 2015

    ulame the EU
    Tories racking up more debt in 5 years than labour in 13, blame the EU.
    detention without trial and govt snooping on innocent citizens, blame the EU.
    Biggest house price bubble in the world, blame the EU.

    this column is starting to sound daft.

    1. Gary
      June 17, 2015

      economic migrants flooding into Britain , blame the EU.

      1. Gary
        June 17, 2015

        biggest total debt to GDP in the g20 , blame the EU

        1. David Murfin
          June 17, 2015

          Gary, I’m old-fashioned.
          For all these things, including supporting EU membership, I blame the government.

          1. Jerry
            June 17, 2015

            @David Murfin; I’m a democrat, so I blame the plebs and the ballot box, after all we could have been EEC/EU free any time in the last 40 years, indeed 45 years, had Heath not been elected in 1970 as I very much doubt Wilson nor any Labour PM would have taken the country in to “Le Club”.

          2. acorn
            June 17, 2015

            I blame that parliament TV! Did you see Treasury Questions? A stream of planted question, from the new intake of lobby fodder; glorifying a government party, that is already a legend in its own mind.

            It’s time to take the cameras out of the Westminster play-pen; and, get the “executive” out of there as well. Then, perhaps, we might get less Punch & Judy and more, proper, well argued, technical scrutiny of Bills.

            We might even get a cross party engineered Bill like, for instance, Conservative David Davis and Labour’s Tom Watson – had to join forces for a combined challenge against emergency surveillance legislation, introduced by the coalition last year. Their high court claim aimed to overturn powers created by the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (Dripa) which was rushed through parliament last July.

            Why do two MPs have to get a QC to argue in a Court, what couldn’t be argued out properly in the HoC? Because, the “executive” is an elected dictatorship. Plus, we have a prime minister whose word is the party law; must not be questioned by his lobby fodder, in front of TV cameras.

            Worse still, we currently have a PM doing the El Presidente bit, having been elected by 0.08% of the UK electorate in only one of 650 constituencies.

          3. Edward2
            June 18, 2015

            How would we do that when none of the political parties were in favour of exit?
            Who should we “plebs” have voted for to have become free “at any time” in the last 40 years?

          4. Jerry
            June 18, 2015

            @acorn; Removing TV (and presumably audio) from parliament will not stop the planted question, and I suspect the left/right/centre press will gleefully carr4y on reporting their spin on the questions and events just as they did before first the microphones and then cameras arrived. Parliament and its processes need root and branch reforms, but removing such direct access for the plebs is not the way to go.

          5. Jerry
            June 18, 2015

            @Edward2; “Who should we “plebs” have voted for to have become free “at any time” in the last 40 years?”

            They could have;
            Voted “Out” in 1975
            Voted for Labour in 1983 (I know, but it was an option)
            Voted Labour in 1987 – who were still broadly anti the EEC
            Voted for Goldsmith’s party and then UKIP from 1997 on.

            Had there been a significant anti EU vote at any time in the last 40 years it would have been a game changer, either as an exit from the EEC/EU or as a moderating force stopping the expansion of the power of the eurocrats.

          6. Edward2
            June 19, 2015

            Well we did not vote for out in 1975 so lets start from there Jerry.
            There have been no manifestos of any main political party since 1975 which said they would remove us from the EU.
            Not even a possibility of a referendum, until now.

            So your comment that we could have voted at any time in the last 40 years to be free at any time, is not correct.

            Reply I did vote for Out in 1975. I thought UKIP offered out at the last 3 elections, so the offer was on the ballot paper. I am not wishing to be drawn into a debate about what is a “main” political party – do the Lib Dems qualify?

          7. Edward2
            June 19, 2015

            Voting Lib Dem would not have got us closer.
            I suppose a huge vote for UKIP could have got us an exit but they were it seems, not a party that a majority of voters preferred to their traditional habits of voting Labour or Conservative.
            So perhaps Jerry is right, in that voters could if they really wanted to, vote into power a party that promised an exit from the EU.
            A conclusion could be that the majority of voters do not want an exit, or feel other issues are more important and so continue to vote Labour and Conservative.

          8. Jerry
            June 19, 2015

            @Edward2; “There have been no manifestos of any main political party since 1975 which said they would remove us from the EU. None.”

            Oh do stop arguing about what you so obviously know nothing about, perhaps you do not actually remember the 1983 GE but that doesn’t stop you from reading the historical archives of the manifestos etc.

            From the 1983 Labour Manifesto:

            …For all these reasons, British withdrawal from the Community is the right policy for Britain – to be completed well within the lifetime of the parliament. That is our commitment. But we are also committed to bring about withdrawal in an amicable and orderly way, so that we do not prejudice employment or the prospect of increased political and economic co-operation with the whole of Europe…

            It went on:

            …On taking office we will open preliminary negotiations with the other EEC member states to establish a timetable for withdrawal; and we will publish the results of these negotiations in a White Paper. In addition, as soon as possible after the House assembles, we will introduce a Repeal Bill: first, in order to amend the 1972 European Communities Act, ending the powers of the Community in the UK; and second, to provide the necessary powers to repeal the 1972 Act, when the negotiations on withdrawal are completed…

            “Not even a possibility of a referendum, until now.”

            More utter nonsense Edward, UKIP have had either a unilateral Brexit or referendum as it’s core reason for being since it was created and first stood for election, whilst James Goldsmith’s party was actually called “The Referendum Party”, duh!

            Oh (and as out host reminded me), at least one other party wanted a referendum ‘to clear the air’ within the last decade too.

            “So your comment that we could have voted at any time in the last 40 years to be free at any time, is not correct.”

            Once against you have been proved wrong Edward, perhaps check your facts first next time, before firing from the hip and hitting nothing other than your own two feet?!

          9. Edward2
            June 20, 2015

            I said main parties Jerry
            UKIP and Goldsmith’s little effort dont count.
            So all you have got is a manifesto from 1983 from a party that never got into power.
            And you think that is an impressive reply.

          10. Jerry
            June 21, 2015

            @Edward2; What ever, the facts remain the facts what ever you might think or believe, thus the only person being made to look “Hilarious” is you. Oh and do you even know how many seats either UKIP or Goldsmith’s little effort stood in, had people voted for them in significant numbers at any time in the last 20 or so years then they would have been the SDP of their time, game changers.

          11. Edward2
            June 22, 2015

            Fantasy politics.
            The public voted as they wished Jerry.
            Goldsmith party no MPs
            UKIP one MP

  3. Lifelogic
    June 17, 2015

    Anything but a hard line on this (returning all migrants) merely increases the flow and thus the consequential drownings. This is clearly the only intelligent & moral response. Especially if it is combined with doing more to stabilise and encourage a prosperous peace in the countries people are fleeing.

    Of course had Cameron and the US not bombed Libya things might have been rather better.

    1. Lifelogic
      June 17, 2015

      It was encouraging to hear Matthew Parris yesterday, saying the UK would vote to stay in the EU. Parris, though often amusing, has been completely wrong on nearly every issue over the years. I often wonder why on earth he joined the Tory party.

      1. Margaret Brandreth-J
        June 17, 2015

        I thought that there would be a free vote?

      2. Dame Rita Webb
        June 17, 2015

        LL sorry but he is probably right on this one. UKIP only pulled in 4m votes. While we will probably have a repetition of what happened in Scotland i.e. too many people having the frighteners put on them by their employers and those who believe they are doing o.k thinking why should I take a leap in the dark?

        1. Lifelogic
          June 17, 2015

          Well you have to bear in mind many UKIP voters voted Tory in the general election to stop something worse and to get a referendum.

          In the MEP elections 2014 where voters can actually vote as they wish 27% voted UKIP 25% Labour and 24% Tory. If we assume perhaps 50% of Tory voters want out and perhaps 20% of Labour too it makes it very close. When people address the in/out issues they will hopefully see there are simply no arguments to stay in.

          The main problem is that Cameron clearly wants to slope the pitch with a biased question and unequal funding. We also have the state sector, some big businesses and the BBC who are absurdly biased on the issue. It is however closer that many think. This is why they are so keen to slope the playing field.

        2. Richard
          June 17, 2015

          Voting to remain in the EU is the real “leap into the dark”option.

          To remain in a corrupt organisation that is run by unelected and unknown people from 27 other countries is certainly the “leap in the dark”.

          To remain in the EU where there is freedom of movement of all 485m people – soon to be expanded by 100m people by including Turkey and all the countries in the east of Europe as far as the Urals, if Mr. Cameron and the Conservative Party have their way – is the “leap in the dark”.

    2. Lifelogic
      June 17, 2015

      Good to see Boris and Brian Cox intervening in the huge over reaction to Sir Tim Hunt innocuous comments, which absurdly saw him give up positions at University College London and the Royal Society.

      I (and I am sure Sir Tim Hunt too) are all in favour or more women in STEP subject and indeed more men.

      The main reasons for fewer women in science is they they simply choose, in general not to study these subjects. At A levels about 70% of further maths 80% of Physics and 90% of computer studies are male. They make their choices just as everyone else does. Most do not want to do science it seems.

      UCL and the Royal society should both be ashamed of themselves. But then most universities are now insufferably PC (and full of greencrap, quack science to boot).

    3. stred
      June 17, 2015

      The US may have helped with the toppling of Gadaffi, but it was Cameron and Sarko who arranged the bombing and helped the other side to a successful democracy. Eural went out and gave them an encouraging speech. It seems odd that we have consistently chosen to make enemies of countries having won previous arguments and persuaded them to become allies or at least relatively friendly. Libya, Syria, and Russia come to mind. Russia actually wanted to join Nato at one point but was rebuffed.

      The EU has done nothing to stop the huge number of boats leaving Libya or to sort out economic migrants from genuine refugees in Syria or Turkey before sailing to Greece. The UN wallah is charge, Irish Peter Sutherland was on R$ on Sunday saying the UK was not doing enough and that migrants had a good record for employment and productivity, and that Europe needed them. He also had a job at GATT and a big bank and must know his stuff. Perhaps the EU is listening.

      There is plenty of scope from N.Africa, even ignoring the displaced people from Syria and Tunisians and Algerians . The latest population figures and period of estimated doubling of population are- (re Wiki)

      Nigeria 184m- 25yr, Ethiopia 90m-29yr, Sudan 38m- 23yr, S.Sudan 12m- 12yr!!, Mali 18m- 21yr, Chad 13m-20yr, Somalia 11m- 45yr, Eritrea 7m- 13yr!!.

      Perhaps the best idea for the EU would be to open family planning centres and pay people to use them. Alternatively we could take the 373m extra over the next 12 to 25 years and get Peter Sutherland to find jobs and houses for them.

    4. brian
      June 17, 2015

      Had Cameron and the US (and France) not bombed Libya many thousands would have died in Gaddaffi’s of Bengahzi.

      1. zorro
        June 17, 2015

        If they bore arms, that might be possible, but I doubt that it would have happened to the civilian population.


  4. Richard1
    June 17, 2015

    Slightly off topic, a completely inarticulate interview by UKIPs main spokesman on the issue of why exit from the EU won’t damage the UK economy. The guy was given more time by Mr Naughtie of Today versus his opponent, whom he charmlessly attempted to shout down. There is actually an interesting and clear argument for exit, and floating voters on the referendum would like to hear it. But if the Out campaign is in the hands of UKIPs incoherent clowns (Farage and one or two others such as Carswell excepted), there will surely be a very large majority for In.

    1. Lifelogic
      June 17, 2015

      It is fairly easy to see why leaving the EU will not damage the UK economy. No membership fee, fewer regulations, cheaper energy, political and legal controls closer home.

      1. Jerry
        June 17, 2015

        @LL; “It is fairly easy to see why leaving the EU will not damage the UK economy.”

        So why is it so difficult for the Brexit camp to put forward a coherent economic argument without straying into woolly irrelevances?

        “[such as] cheaper energy”

        Not sure that is true if their is a Brexit but still a government wedded to AGW theories, after all much of the running on this is at the hands of the UN, perhaps haps that will be the next demand from some, a Brexit from the UN too!

        1. Lifelogic
          June 18, 2015

          Nothing irrelevant about cheaper (non green crap) energy. I agree that it is not the main point which is:-

          Do you want to ruled by Westminster by people, speak English, understand the UK’s history & needs and can be removed at elections. Or by unelected people in Brussels who do not and that you cannot ever remove or even influence much?

          1. Jerry
            June 18, 2015

            @LL; Who elects the civil service in the UK, and how can us Plebs remove them, and you still assume that any USoE will not be fully elected just as in the USA or any other democratic federation, some eurosceptics seem to have no economic argument and thus are trying to pull emotional heart strings,. as I’ve said before, ask a Scotsman (and some Welsh, indeed some in Cornwall) what they think and you might be shocked just what they think of the “Sovereignty” argument!

            The UK’s economic needs are more than just selling goods to and buying raw minerals from our Empr…sorry, Commonwealth you know, we are in the 21st Century, not the 19th…

          2. Edward2
            June 18, 2015

            I get the impression Jerry, that the Welsh and Scottish and Northern Irish are very passionate about ruling themselves.

          3. Jerry
            June 19, 2015

            @Edward2; “I get the impression Jerry, that the Welsh and Scottish and Northern Irish are very passionate about ruling themselves.”

            That is my point, many of those pe0ple will not think of “Sovereignty” in the same way as someone from England or those who believes in a non-devolved UK, also what you failed to mention is that whilst many Welsh and Scottish and Northern Irish want self rule they also want their nations to be members of the EU – that might appear as an oxymoron to eurosceptics etc. but that is how they think and thus can not be ignored all the time such people will be voting in the UK wide Brexit referendum.

            A strong Brexit economic case for leaving, otherwise expect a lost vote…

            Reply There is not much difference in attitudes to the EU in the different parts of the UK.

          4. Jerry
            June 19, 2015

            @JR reply; The GE vote in Scotland, the Nationalist and left wing (pro EU parties) vote in NI and the broadly europhile support in Wales suggests otherwise, but if you are correct then perhaps the Brexit group should already start packing up if they are not going to put that strong economic case for withdrawal…

      2. David Price
        June 17, 2015

        If we stayed with EFTA/EEA, even as a stepping stone, I would expect there to still be a membership fee and trade related regulations since so many of the latter likely come from international bodies rather than just the EU themselves. Its the political and legal millstones we should be able to drop.

    2. Roy Grainger
      June 17, 2015

      Of course. And in the interest of “balance” in the debate the BBC will persist in using the most extreme UKIP spokespeople they can find.

      1. Richard1
        June 17, 2015

        I didn’t catch his name but he was an MEP and had apparently been put forward by UKIP to challenge ‘5 myths’ about EU membership. It was not a good performance.

      2. Hope
        June 17, 2015

        Richard, Clarke was name calling Euroscepticsas paranoid in Westminster yesterday to shout down his opposition. There was not any substance to his contribution. He just gets red faced and blurts rubbish. Do not worry about UKIP. Cameron has no intention to leave the EU, he still wants a break from purdah. Salmond had it right on the button, if GE can be held without a breakdown in govt then this referendum ca as well. It is unfortunate that Labout is ineffective at the moment. Anothe reason why Cameron is giving a loaded referendum.

      3. Jerry
        June 17, 2015

        @Roy Grainger; Mr Dartmouth is the UKIP spokesperson, if he is “extreme” then why have UKIP appointed him?! Seems to me that for some the BBC is dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t, yet if a media outlet such as FoxNews was to interview a extreme UKIP spokespeople it would be all praise shouted from the roof tops…

      4. Lifelogic
        June 17, 2015

        Indeed. Much evident in public interviews too. Only extreme comments from UKIP supporters tend to get put on air, this to ensure the racist abuse sticks.

        It is the current EU good & open door/everyone else bad policy that is racist.

    3. Bob
      June 17, 2015

      Slightly off your topic, what did you think about the huge Tory rebellion against the govt in the purdah vote?

      Is this an indication of the scale EU scepticism in the Tory Party?

      1. Lifelogic
        June 18, 2015

        27 huge?

      2. Jerry
        June 18, 2015

        @Bob; No, it was an indication of the scale democracy within the Tory party…

        Not sure what would happen should UKIP have been in/the Government. and Mr Farage (who tends to get what he wants from the party after all said and done) was to want a suspension of purdah, would you be so glib in your suggestions of a rebellion against the government…

        1. Bob
          June 18, 2015


          ” it was an indication of the scale democracy within the Tory party…”

          You’re being a silly billy as usual, the whips made sure that Mr Cameron got the outcome he had wanted, otherwise it wouldn’t have put to the vote. The same will apply to the referendum itself. Wise up!

          1. Jerry
            June 19, 2015

            @Bob; Oh right so the Tories can rebel freely when the result has been to your liking but when it is not it’s all those same strong-willed, self-thinking, Tory MPs are cowed by the whips – and you tell me to “wise-up”! Bob, try being a little less obviously partisan in your comments…

          2. Bob
            June 19, 2015

            If you were right on this, and I’m not suggesting for one moment that you are, it would imply that the EU sceptic members of the Tory Party are in a tiny minority.

            Or are you suggesting that suspending purdah is not designed to support an “in” vote?

          3. Jerry
            June 20, 2015

            @Bob: I suspect the only way of checking your theory about the whips is to check the voting record. if known eurosceptics voted for suspending purdah then your suggestion of a well oiled whips office will be proved correct, if not then perhaps there really is not that many eurosceptics in the Tory party, although I favour a third possibility, that the vote was lost due the fact that many of the opposition voted with the government an not against it on this particular issue.

          4. Jerry
            June 20, 2015

            @Bob; Oh and on the issue of suspending purdah, that could help either side of the argument, of course if the PM chose to withhold a damaging statement that will help the Brexit vote that is not a problem caused by suspending purdah per se but that of government – and indeed if purdah was in place there would be non statement anyway.

          5. Bob
            June 22, 2015

            “many of the opposition voted with the government”

            No Jerry, the opposition abstained, because they knew that the Tories would be whipped into shape. Had that not been the case the opposition would have supported the govt.

  5. Margaret Brandreth-J
    June 17, 2015

    As always the measures suggested are palliative rather than curative.The Countries where the migrants are fleeing from should take responsibility for their own. You are right in saying that instead of the UK taking the brightest migrants and most likely to make a difference in this Country, it would be preferable for them to stay at home to help change the warring nature of their native lands.Whether there are economic migrants or well qualified migrants the west is taking too much of the responsibility.

    Every day I come into contact with potential deaths which could be avoided given the effective resource , so why do we think we can afford to send Navy vessels to help these people in distress?

    From a mothers point of view to warring nations; it would unwise to bring children originally into the world where there is so much turmoil. Not all children are born out of savage circumstances.We have an individual responsibility for bringing another life into the world which is not born out of love for a puppy like creature and desire to have a larger family, for status or to bring more money in.It is a serious decision.

    If we had a larger geographical area, as Africa does, then the problems which we face due to others aggression would not be so marked. I cannot abide any type of aggression, even verbal as it represents who and what people are. Some might say that omission ; that is the deliberate with holding of help for the boat people is tantamount to a cruel aggressive act. Omission can be as savage as perpetuating an act of aggression , yet where do we stop.

    A grander political move needs to be made.I wonder how these nations would feel if we as Europeans took our boats collectively ,landed on their shores and took over.Obviously war would begin. So why is the reverse acceptable?

  6. Old Albion
    June 17, 2015

    “Yesterday news came that the French have blocked the border with Italy to impede the progress of illegal economic migrants”

    I wonder if they see the irony in that? The nation that allows economic migrants and bogus asylum seekers to gather in and around Calais to assist their passage to England.

    The obvious answer to the current crisis is to return the migrants to their port of departure. It wouldn’t have to be done very often before the migrants realised throwing themselves into danger to get to the EU (or more likely England) is not going to work.
    I agree more should be done by the EU to secure their ports of departure from criminality.

  7. formula57
    June 17, 2015

    Clearly, once the economic migrants have EU passports (from Italy or elsewhere) they can come to the UK amongst other places and they will keep coming to the EU for so long as the EU allows them entry.

    We might therefore capture for ourselves the income now enjoyed by the traffickers by organizing charter flights direct to the UK from selected places in Africa (so saving many the initial inconvenience of travelling to Libya and onward from Italy). Scotland is especially welcoming, so I understand, and less densely populated than many other parts of the UK and so would provide a good haven, especially with its free prescriptions, tuition, and old age care.

  8. Peter van Leeuwen
    June 17, 2015

    This week bodies were found in the Netherlands and Norway of immigrants killed, trying to swim to the UK from Calais (where they had bought wet-suits). The Channel, like the Mediterranean only offers relative protection for countries against the people of other countries, prepared to risk their lives for what they expect to be a better future. Meanwhile the United Nations argues that Europe would be able to take in many more (about a million) genuine refugees. It is sad that European ministers haven’t yet found a common approach for all these ever more urgent problems.

    1. libertarian
      June 17, 2015

      Peter v L

      All the time the EU operates a customs union and prevents African countries trading with Europe then those countries will not grow and prosper. All the time Western Government keeps providing huge amounts of taxpayers money to prop up, undemocratic, despotic and violent governments those countries will not develop. Africa has come a long way in the last few decades but it needs to be treated better and not patronised by the west in order to stop the need of so many people wanting to flee their homelands. It needs free markets .

      Maybe they would be better off listening to Uhuru Kenyatta

      1. Gary
        June 18, 2015

        well said, libertarian. The prime example is Nigeria, one of the most oil rich countries in the world, they have to export their oil and then import fuel, by order of their crony govt in the pocket of the west. It’s the same throughout Africa with all sorts of commodities. They used to call this kind of plunder “mercantilism”. Europe will reap immigrants as long as Africa is looted and remains poor.

        1. bluedog
          June 20, 2015

          ‘Europe will reap immigrants as long as Africa is looted and remains poor.’

          Ah, the enduring satisfaction of post-colonial guilt. Now let’s see, after twenty years of majority rule, is South Africa a more economically equal society? Or has a new elite simply occupied the commanding heights of the economy for its own self-serving purpose?

    2. David Price
      June 17, 2015

      For once I agree with you, the EU must enforce it’s borders properly. It’s no good letting illegal immigrants jump the queue and the only action taken is to try and share them out amongst the rest of the EU.

      If the UN must pontificate on this matter then they should focus on improving the conditions in these people’s home countries so they continue to contribute to their own economies.

  9. Jerry
    June 17, 2015

    “This is against the Shengen rules they signed up to.”

    In the strict sense of the rules no it is not, depending on the reasons given for doing so, a EU member state who has agreed to the Shengen rules can close its boarders in an emergency – also it would appear that Italy is not applying the “Dublin” rules properly, which seems to have been the reason for the boarder closure by the French.

    By the way, best wishes to Bill Cash for a speedy recovery.

  10. CheshireGirl
    June 17, 2015

    I dont pretend to know the answer to this dilemma, but I have a lot of sympathy for the Italians and the Greeks. We have tried to help to save lives but what we are doing is picking people up and dropping them on the shores of Italy and Greece, who are already being overwhelmed. The talking about this problem has gone on for several weeks. While the numbers grow daily.
    It is fine to talk about stabilising the countries they come from, but that could take years, while the problem is with us now. Despite denials from our Government, I am betting that we will end up taking some of these people one way or another.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      June 17, 2015

      Agree with Cheshire Girl. How on earth is Greece supposed to afford this extra burden when they are already financially broken? No wonder they are keen to send them on to the rest of the EU. Same as Italy. This is a problem that is not going to go away and could be endless. Sorting out the problems in their homelands is not an option. That will take years and will perhaps never be sorted. In the meantime, thousands are coming and will keep coming for years to come all the time we let them. The trafficers must be having a grand time and their bank balances growing larger by the day. We must make it clear to all migrants that they will not be able to land on European shores and they must be taken back. We have to think about our children and their future and cannot take on the problems of the rest of the world. The UK is not that big but we have a large population compared with many other countries in Europe. The fact that these migrants will get EU citizenship will mean that many of them will come to the UK legally and that will put further strain on our resources which are at breaking point in some areas now. For goodness sake, let’s get a grip before it’s too late.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        June 17, 2015

        Forgot to add that this is another excellent reason to leave the EU so we CAN control who comes in and just as importantly, who doesn’t!

  11. DaveM
    June 17, 2015

    I appreciate that you are dealing with the immediate problem in today’s blog, but the real problem is that Gaddafi was deposed and killed but wasn’t replaced. At least in Iraq there was an attempt to replace Saddam even if it was buggered up completely. The problem now is that there are no world leaders who have the stomach to take the bull by the horns, come up with a solution and implement it because all they’re concerned with is rescuing the Euro or making the dollar stronger. How much money does the UN accept to ‘strongly condemn’ someone or to look disapproving? The US may be worried about looking like the world’s policeman again, and DC might worry about being called a poodle. But as Spiderman was told – with great power comes great responsibility. Step up to the plate, world leaders, the ball’s in your court. It’s not all about summits and lunches – sometimes you have to make tough decisions.

    Reply Most of the asylum seekers and economic migrants come from countries other than Libya

    1. Anonymous
      June 17, 2015

      Reply to reply: Through borderless Libya. Borderless since the war waged against Sadam by Tory led Britain.

      1. Anonymous
        June 17, 2015

        Gadaffi. Correction.

        1. Jerry
          June 19, 2015

          @Anonymous; You might well as, or more correct, have been correct the first time….

  12. Mike Stallard
    June 17, 2015

    Federika Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission in the Juncker Commission in the Juncker Commission, is looking into the problem.
    The fact is that 28 states all have very different priorities and it is all very hard.

    We cannot let the people drown in the sea.
    They get very cross and start shouting if they are not allowed to do exactly what they feel like doing.
    And they have all had tragic experiences in their independent countries (Gary: outside the EU!)

    But we can trust Sga Mogherini who has been involved with foreign policy since here time in the Italian Communist Party and as Italian Representative in Afghanistan and the Middle East for the Social Democratss. She will sort it for us.

    Personal note: Mr Redwood – congratulations on your principled stand in parliament.

  13. Iain Gill
    June 17, 2015

    Re “the French have blocked the border with Italy to impede the progress of illegal economic migrants. This is against the Shengen rules they signed up to”
    I dont think this is true. A foreign national in the UK on a visa, even the visa giving almost equal rights to British citizenship ie “indefinite leave to remain” and certainly not work visa, student visa, or asylum visa does not give right of entry to any other European country. Other European countries regularly can and do prevent British residents with visas but without citizenship entering. It will be the same between Italy and France, most of these people if legally in Italy will be on an asylum visa of one kind or another that does not give rights to entry to other European countries. And so France seeing a mass breaking of the rules can intervene to stop it.
    The real problem will be if Italy just starts giving these people EU passports. Like the Germans did with East Germany after the wall came down, and lots of Russians ended up with German passports. Then there will be no way to stop them.

  14. Cuffleyburgers
    June 17, 2015

    I facilmente o see why having fished the (people ed) out of the water we tKe them to Italy. It seems obvious to me that they should go back to Libya.

    If each time they take a boat they are fished out and taken back to Libya afeter a while they will likely get the message.

  15. bratwurst
    June 17, 2015

    Smuggling, not trafficking. There is a difference.

  16. bluedog
    June 17, 2015

    Some good comments, Dr JR, on an issue which is unlikely to go away, at all.

    A multi-layered approach is required to staunch the flow of illegals economic migrants and there seem to be two principle issues to resolve. In the first instance the EU in general and the Italians in particular seem unable to grasp that if they do not defend their sovereignty they will lose it. A battle of wills is underway, and unless the EU can persuade the illegals that its will to prevent their arrival is greater than the illegals desire to reach the EU, the human tide will continue. As yet the EU has not reconciled itself to the imperative of defending the borders of Europe. In any event, at the EU end of the journey there is no lack of capacity but merely a lack of determination to stop the boats.

    The other problem is that Libya is a non-state without a governing authority. Thus there is no party in Libya with whom the EU can treat in order to restrain the flow at source. Taking a cynical view, the absence of government in Libya in fact creates a power vacuum that the EU can and should exploit. There is absolute no power within Libya that can prevent an EU warship from landing on Libyan soil and unloading a cargo of illegals. Once that has been done consistently and firmly the flow of third worlders will stop.

    There should be no inhibition in doing the decent thing by the current population of Europe, and preventing these largely unemployable demographic claimants from Africa from arriving illegally. Simply round them up and drop them back in Libya.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      June 17, 2015

      Well said Bluedog. Agree totally.

    2. Mitchel
      June 17, 2015

      @bluedog”….the EU has not reconciled itself to the imperative of defending the borders of Europe”.

      Of course not,the EU is controlled by people who do not believe in borders and,furthermore,do not define Europe in geographic terms – any country,more or less will be considered European if it is” politically” European ie espouses European values(or promises to).The EU’s ambitions have long since extended beyond geographic Europe,hence the arrangements in place for countries in North Africa and the Caucasus.

    3. David Price
      June 17, 2015

      I believe the international law of the sea (especially non refoulement) prevents you doing what your final paragraph suggests. These laws have evolved to ensure there is nothing to hinder or dissuade ships masters from carrying out a rescue, if you start to break some of it’s elements then there could be some very uncomfortable consequences.

      1. bluedog
        June 20, 2015

        ‘These laws have evolved to ensure there is nothing to hinder or dissuade ships masters from carrying out a rescue,’

        There are a number of problems with this position in the context of illegal immigration at sea. In the first instance almost all boats leaving North Africa are equipped with a satellite or mobile phone so that they can alert the European authorities when the vessel in question suffers a ‘break-down’. Engine failure in European territorial waters is a standard part of the voyage. Secondly there is no practical reason why the rescuing vessel cannot return the rescued seafarers to their port of origin. After all, they have no specification destination in a European port and in most cases these seafarers have destroyed their identity papers, have no visas and are ineligible to enter Europe. Just call their bluff and ship them back to North Africa.

  17. The Prangwizard
    June 17, 2015

    I saw the News report, not sure if BBC or Sky, about the tension at the Italian/French border. What struck me that the so-called migrants looked in very good health and well dressed and energetic, they are not much like the refugees of old, their faces are not the faces of those who have endured months and years of fear hunger and deprivation, and the one I saw interviewed was obviously well-fed, well educated, and well versed in the culture of victimhood, so they are ready and well able to take advantage of our goodwill. Crocodile tears were also much in evidence.

    There is no doubt that our forces, and everyone else’s, should either be not involved at all in these ‘rescues’ but if they are, and probably better that the boats should be towed back to the coast of origin, the people disembarked and the boats then immediately destroyed there. No excuses.

    1. Bob
      June 18, 2015

      @The Prangwizard
      On a news bulletin I saw the refugees using their smartphones to update their Facebook status to let their friends know they had made it to Lampedusa.
      And as you say, they all looked well fed, well dressed and in the pink.

      This is just a huge racket, but it all helps towards creating divisions within our countries which is what the politicians want after all.

  18. David
    June 17, 2015

    @”The navy is doing good and has stopped people losing their lives.”
    Yes and no, it could be that by saving people in the sea more people go overland to Libya and lots of them die in the process.

  19. agricola
    June 17, 2015

    The ports of North Africa at present collaborating in the departure of economic migrants no doubt see it as a way of passing on the problem. I’m sure that bribery and corruption are rife. We need to see that our bribery and corruption is on a more rewarding scale.

    Why not the UN, EU, et al get together and talk to one of the North African countries with a view to creating a haven in the area in which these economic migrants could set up home permanently in safety. Think in terms of another Liberia, Gaza, Israel, but with proper security and the creation of an economic structure for self sufficiency.

    If we cleaned out ISIL from Libya, we might get a acceptable quid quo pro from their government to create such a haven on their coast. It is certainly not realistic to expect Italy to take sole responsibility nor ultimately the rest of the EU to house these people. Once we do the flow would be endless. Interesting to see the predictable French reaction in the light of their membership of Shengen and the EU.

  20. turbo terrier
    June 17, 2015

    The only answer is to turn them round and take them back.

    They are supposed to be poor but all have paid for their crossing and no doubt they have borrowed on the strength of getting to Europe and they will come under the control of the criminal gangs that are organising the whole operation. The circle has to be broken.

    If the EU put all their special forces across to the North African coast and took out the traffickers then some, no a lot would start banging on about their human rights. It is a no win situation. The situation at present is never going to stop unless some drastic decisions are made very quickly. How many immigrants from Africa are still estimated to be in the pipeline?

    Governments have got to start smelling the coffee and unpleasant as it may seem the boats have got to be turned or towed back from whence they came. Those already in Italy and Greece put onto charted military aircraft from all the EU nations. In the long term it will be the cheapest option for the EU

    If Italy gives them a temporary visa just to get rid of them then look out South East England they are heading your way.

    Until governments sit round the table and talk to how best address the problem then it will be like being at Queens ball watching. There has got to be surely some way of helping all these so called “qualified people” to return and start to rebuild their own country.

    Has anyone within the EU actually costed the real impact on their economies short and long term for allowing all these people in?

  21. DaveM
    June 17, 2015

    To reply – yes I know, but lack of governance in Libya has helped to create ideal conditions for traffickers. Clearly there is a pressing issue regarding what to do with these people now they have invited themselves to our continent. However, that problem is only going to get worse if the sources of the migration aren’t dealt with. UN rules allow it to get involved with internal national conflicts and problems if they are causing humanitarian issues and/or affecting neighbouring countries. And yet, as usual it does nothing. Meanwhile our already overcrowded countries will continue to suffer. With the continued impotence of the UN the world will look to the US and Europe for answers but none are forthcoming because all they ever do is ‘hold talks’ and dump refugees on communities which can’t cope, whilst patting each other on the back for getting Nobel prizes.

  22. Bert Young
    June 17, 2015

    The humanitarian view on immigrants has to be put to one side as far as the migrants from Africa are concerned . Once again the French have discarded EU rules and taken a firm hand in denying entry to these people . The French in common with all EU economies are in no position to handle the numbers they are confronted with and , frankly , have to be given some praise for their action . Theresa May has made our place clear – we do not want them and will have no place in the proposed quota allocation system .The Italians should adopt a similar approach .

    We must do what the Australians do by discouraging the attempts in the first place . Returning the migrants to Libya and the other places from whence they came is the only realistic solution . Once the message gets across that it is futile to try to get to Europe , the problem will go away . The traffickers must be punished by their own countries .

  23. m
    June 17, 2015

    Good Morning Mr Redwood
    After watching yourself and other euro-sceptics giving brilliant speaches yesterday dont you think you are flogging a dead horse, the referendum is going to be fixed in favour of a stay in, come the 2020 GE the tories and labour will get a taste of what the SNP did in Scotland with UKIP taking most of the seats, the people won`t be fob off with all this political spin and deception

    1. Bob
      June 18, 2015


      “the people won`t be fob off with all this political spin and deception”

      Oh really? It worked in last month’s GE! The British people have become surprisingly sheep-like.

      With purdah now suspended, Cameron now has a pretty clear run with the help of Labour and the pro EU BBC with their guaranteed £3.5 billion pounds a year.

      No sign of any balance yet, the dice are well and truly loaded to give Cameron what he wants.

      1. Jerry
        June 20, 2015

        @Bob; “The British people have become surprisingly sheep-like.”

        Far from it, it is because the British people have NOT become sheep-like that they rejected the failed scapegoat style of political arguments of old, they (perhaps even a majority) might not be happy with current migration levels etc. but know that the cause is not the simplistic types of arguments last seen during the mid to late 1970s and early ’80s when jobs (and housing) were also issues of concern.

        1. Bob
          June 22, 2015

          My comment never mentioned immigration, so that looks like another of your attempts to set up a straw man.

          Anyway, let’s get back to what I was saying, Crosby played the voters like a fiddle.

    2. Jerry
      June 19, 2015

      @m; “come the 2020 GE the tories and labour will get a taste of what the SNP did in Scotland with UKIP taking most of the seats”

      Then a lot of people are going to be very thankful of staying in the EU, I can see some newspaper running the front page on the morning of polling day 2020 – “If Farrage wins today, will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights”…

  24. zorro
    June 17, 2015

    The French are able to reinstall border controls under Schengen and have done so before at Ventimiglia when the Italians granted ‘residence documents’ to thousands of Tunisians following the Arab Spring. So they can reinstall controls whether they have documents or not. Although not in the spirit of the agreement, the French are using exceptional provisions which are allowed under the agreement.

    As for the RN, their exercise although humanitarian is only exacerbating and deepening the crisis. The chickens are coming home to roost. After years of Western power meddling and covert supported government overthrowing, we are seeing the fruits of anarchy. The question is what will the west do? It cannot keep on picking up people in leaky bath tubs and dumping them in Italy. It will have to take out the people traffickers at source. The cost and waste of all this should be pinned on one person in particular. Can anyone guess who I am thinking of…..?


  25. Kenneth
    June 17, 2015

    It is tragic that the eu is encouraging more people to die by encouraging yet more sea crossings.

    Australia has saved countless lives by paying for a detention area at an offshore location to process applications.

    Perhaps the UK government should consider funding a similar scheme in partnership with some other European nations?

    Surely this is better than the current barbaric policy?

  26. brian
    June 17, 2015

    “…. the ports of departure should take more responsibility…..” In Libya nobody is effectively “in charge”. Money is the only thing that speaks>

  27. MickN
    June 17, 2015

    Just to echo the poster above Sir, well done on your principled stand on the purdah vote yesterday and those of your colleagues that voted with you. I was somewhat surprised that there were so few of you given that earlier in the week you said in a reply to another poster that your belief was that Conservatives for Britain now numbered 112. Lots of members lacking backbone and integrity showing their true colours it seems.
    Thank God for the “Few”

    1. Bob
      June 18, 2015


      “Thank God for the “Few””

      Far too few unfortunately!

  28. English Pensioner
    June 17, 2015

    We should listen to the Australian Prime Minister. They’ve solved a similar problem with would-be Asian immigrants and they know that if you let in just one immigrant, this gives the others hope and they try to follow.
    But then Australia is a sovereign country and can make its own decisions, we’re no longer free to do as we wish and have to obey Brussels. We will no doubt have an explosion in the number of immigrants in the next few years which will be dismissed by our government as “exceptional circumstances” or “a blip”.
    Australia has shown there is a way and the fact that the EU won’t implement something similar is yet one more reason for getting out of the EU.

  29. Bill
    June 17, 2015

    Suppose we imagine passports are given to those who have reached Italy and that these migrants are dispersed throughout Europe. Then imagine the flow of migrants continues. Are we saying there is no theoretical limit to the number of migrants Europe accepts? Or are we to say ‘yes, there is a theoretical limit but the United Nations draws the line in one place and other people draw it somewhere else’. At some point, surely, the actual reasons why people migrate has to be addressed.

    What social, economic and military analysis is being given to North Africa? The ‘push factor’ that causes people to undertake the hazardous journey across land and sea needs to be dealt with. Are we to say that the terrorism and unrest in Somalia and parts of West Africa is the scourge driving migration? If we are, then why are we not investing resources to confront this scourge?

    My reading of the situation is negative. We are facing the formation of a new power block in the Middle East similar in its militaristic tendencies (words left out ed). People are getting out while they can. The EU, with its liberal bureaucratic engine, is completely unsuited to deal with the root of the trouble.

  30. ken moore
    June 17, 2015

    We all know that mr camerons stupid war to depose colonel gadaffi removed the single most important barrier between africa and europe.

    Unchecked Millions of migrants could potentially move to europe destroying the very thing they seek.
    Not content with this he seeks to appease his liberal guilt by turning the royal navy into a ferry service – thus incentivising more migrants to make the crossing.

  31. Peter a
    June 17, 2015

    Watching DP yesterday only Bernard Jenkin of 4 was eurosceptic. I have a feeling that the Westminster bubble is again underestimating the English people. Remember the Farage/Clegg debates and GE; our masters in Westminster and the MSM thought that their preferred view was romping home. Vast amounts of the North are also anti EU.

    If the BBC keep spouting this ‘if you’re eurosceptic you’re rascist’ line then we have a chance. Jo Coborn admitted on air this week she was a europile and makes zero effort to be impartial! We’re not rascist we just still believe in British exceptionalism and that come what may, we’d rather be poorer but able to preserve our culture and sovereignty. For most people being Eurosceptic is not about money at all.

    Debates will be key. Farage for all his issues was passionately pro British and that’s what won those two debates, positivity. Cameron will front YES and will speak with a voice honeyed by snake-oil and as PM, from a position of authority. We need tough and folksy and we do need a figurehead, but not Farage.

    1. Bob
      June 18, 2015

      Peter a

      “we just still believe in British exceptionalism”

      Britain has seen off European dictators in the past by force of arms which is why this time the hegemony has being accomplished by stealth. Our population has been so dumbed down that the abolition of democracy may now be inevitable and we will be locked into subservience for generations to come until such time that the EU collapses under it’s own weight, as empires often do, given time.

  32. ian wragg
    June 17, 2015

    It’s disgraceful that HMS Bulwark is being used to traffic illegal economic migrants to Greece and Italy.
    CMD says one of the reasons we give so much aid is to make life better for these people, it doesn’t appear to be working.
    The foreign aid should be used to make a secure area in Libya and charter boats to return them. They would soon stop when word got round that they are being returned.
    O/T I’ve just been reading an article which says that Britain contributes 20% 0f the VAT revenue collected by the EU. is this on top of our “contribution”?

    1. Monty
      June 17, 2015

      Indeed it is shameful that the Royal Navy is being used to dump illegals on Italian territory. We should withdraw the RN immediately.
      If and when the EU comes up with a strategy for effectively turning these people back, we should not participate.

    June 17, 2015

    I do not know how to allow people here to make or agree to obvious, logical decisions on our own survival without causing them to become brutalized in the process. How to carry on a jolly and thoroughly deep-thought debate as a ritual entertainment. And yet do or deliberately not do certain actions for our own good.

    In times of war we send our children off to kill people but not before them getting dressed all alike for which they are afore trained by wearing school uniforms; learning how to salute, march, and do as they are told without question.

    In point of fact we often behave in split-minded ways with two sets of mutually exclusive value systems. Smeagol, not an original concept: Yes it was.

    It may “help” to know but not all people who go to live in any country actually love that country or people of that country at all. They laugh at what they call their “softness”, “stupidity” “naivety”, it deserves listing naivety twice, their sanctimonious “decency”. They laugh at their generosity but hide their laughing in a smile which the people of the host country interpret as friendliness.

    The definition of literature as opposed to just words, could be said to be ” that which uplifts the human spirit”. I admit my comment is not literature. But I can tell JR is used to and skilled in writing books of literature.

  34. They Work for Us?
    June 17, 2015

    Thank you once again for standing up for all of us re an attempted EU referendum stitch up.

    Yesterday on Radio4 a Polish Minister/ Senior Official was asked why virtually no Ukrainians had been granted asylum/ migration to Poland. Many came over but were all sent back after some palliative care. He replied “My country is not a Social Service, my responsibility is first to my own people”.
    Should Italy refuse for rescue ships to dock and land their (people ed) then the Royal Navy should any present (people ed) on the North African coast and then be withdrawn. from the Mediterranean.
    We could also refuse to recognise newly issued documents by Italy.

  35. Vanessa
    June 17, 2015

    The last paragraph of this piece is the important one. If the EU started TRADING with these African countries rather than destroying what trade they have (fish is an example – they have decimated their fishing waters {rather like ours}) and now are not interested in renewing the fishing trade there. No wonder people are leaving in their hundreds. AID does not help farmers or small business people only TRADE does that.

    It is the EU’s fault, they have caused this mess – let them sort it out, we do not need to be involved.

  36. Rods
    June 17, 2015

    Personally, I think the UK and France should be forced to take ALL of the Libyan migrants as it was their ill thought plans to topple Gaddafi that are the cause of the current situation there.

    Ask any civilian caught in the middle of a warzone and they will tell you absolutely any other scenario is better than that. So to call ALL these people that a fleeing, many for their lives, economic migrants, I personally think is an absolute disgrace, shame on you. We have replace one vile president and government, which was not as bad as the current scenario for the majority with two governments and various military groups all fighting to be top dog along with ISIS. Many innocent civilians, who want to live safe normal lives with their families are caught in the middle of what are now war zones.

    Only a fool thinks you can topple a government from the air, create a political vacuum and things will be better, without after remotely bombing a government into submission you don’t put boots on the ground, to make sure things are better. Even then if you are not prepared to go the full course of providing security and guidance for 10 years plus while the democratic system and institutions are created and become fully established then you end up with Iraq and what will shortly be the same in Afghanistan. Sort these problems out and then you have a case for calling anyone travelling in boats across the Mediterranean economic migrants and will have my full support for sending them back, but not before then.

    It is time for the UK and French government to start taking responsibility for the mess they have created in Libya and to start doing something to sort it out.

    You also need to start working with the US by taking responsibility for the mess we have jointly caused in Iraq and for both countries to put boots on the ground to sort that disaster out as well. I don’t like putting our eviscerated armed forces in the frontline again (especially with our inept MOD equipment procurement system), but previous governments should have thought of that before starting these unnecessary and disastrous crusades.

    Another £500m cut to the defence budget, so we no longer meet out 2% of GDP NATO commitment when we are in the most dangerous global situation since the 1930’s, is the height of irresponsibility and folly, where we are now IMO one war in Asia away from WWIII starting. WWII started as three separate wars in Europe, North Africa and Asia and due to various treaties and mutual beneficial alliances, joined up. It is not difficult to work out who the allies and enemies will be in the near future with WWIII. WWIII is still just about stoppable, but it will take proper strategies and leadership and the West doesn’t have either of those. Appeasement, denying painful realities (like a war in Europe with Russia invading Ukraine) and trying to muddle through aren’t a credible tactic and are certainly not a successful strategy. In life, if you aren’t creating and executing plans for what you hope are successful and beneficial outcomes, then you are forced to accept the results of those around you who are, however badly it affects your situation and wellbeing. IMO instead of leaders we only currently have focus group centric, vainly populist, image obsessed, professional political pygmies and all of us are going to be the worse for this, along with our families, where we are all going to pay the price of unnecessary and avoidable lives lost.

  37. Douglas Carter
    June 17, 2015

    Off-topic – apologies in advance but pertaining to an exchange between yourself and Bill Cash in the latter stages of the HoC debate of Tuesday.

    You both mentioned the classification nature of The EU itself as to whether it was a foreign entity or whether under certain auspices, it is counted as a UK entity.

    Under the purdah rules:-

    …’The 2000 Act, the Political Parties, Elections and referendums Act states in 125/2

    (2)Subject to subsection (3), no material to which this section applies shall be published during the relevant period by or on behalf of—

    (a)any Minister of the Crown, government department or local authority; or

    (b)any other person or body whose expenses are defrayed wholly or mainly out of public funds or by any local authority.’…

    As per point (b) here, I would legitimately argue that the EU is just such a body. Its expenses are indeed ‘defrayed wholly or mainly out of public funds’ – that legislation does not seem to define ‘public’ in particular national identity – and if indeed that EU is to be taken as a UK entity for the purposes of the Governments’ posture, then section 125 where applied fully would appear to disqualify the EU from entering the official campaign with some definitive authority?

  38. Leslie Singleton
    June 17, 2015

    Dear John–I am still struggling to work out how, if the Tory party is Eurosceptic as you say, the Government can self-proclaimedly say that it is “not going to be neutral”. Please don’t say that Cameron would have us believe that he might yet (“Nothing ruled out”–again a joke) recommend Out.

  39. Aatif Ahmad
    June 17, 2015

    “Is it a helpful policy policy to offer a better life to all the brightest, best and most energetic people in poorer countries, as it will make the growth and greater prosperity of those places that much more difficult to achieve?”

    No, it’s not a helpful policy because it means people like me come here, when I could have stayed at home and started a business employing people and creating jobs, rather than wasting time replying to your dull posts.

    1. Mr Vivid
      June 18, 2015

      You can reply to these posts from anywhere on the planet with an internet connection. What is your point?

  40. Lindsay McDougall
    June 17, 2015

    We might choose to pronounce African Independence to be a failed experiment and restore imperial power. Perhaps not. However, there seem to be a lot of countries, not just confined to Africa, whose only exports are unwanted people. Of course, organised religion does its very best to get these countries to produce as many people as possible.

    We in the UK need to do something pretty drastic, for example (take your pick):
    – Sink any migrant carrying boat immediately it leaves Libyan etc territorial waters
    – Create a transit island similar to the one the Australians have created off PNG
    – Refuse to admit any African immigrants who have not applied via a British office in Africa
    – Make decisions on asylum and immigration the sole prerogative of the Home Secretary and not the courts
    – Leave the EU to ensure our sovereignty
    – Scrap all international laws, treaties and conventions that get in our way

    If you don’t like this list, the ball is in your court.

  41. forthurst
    June 17, 2015

    The isle of Kos is inundated with migrants crossing from Turkey; these migrants are mainly from Syria and Afghanistan. Meanwhile our focus is on migrants attempting to enter the EU via Libya. What do Syria, Afghanistan and Libya have in common?

    The root cause of our problem is not migrants, but politicians like Blair, heir to Blair, Sarkozy who prefer to (offend ed) by acting against their own countrys’ best interests in order to advance the neocon game plan.

  42. Mike Wilson
    June 19, 2015

    If they had done, then, as far as I am concerned, they would really be in a position to tell us the answer, but, as judged by the vote, they speak for only about half the Scottish people.

    Judged by the vote, the government only speaks for a quarter of the electorate. Let us apply the same argument to all democratic institutions. The government has no mandate. Just a majority in the House of Commons. Which is, of course, not the same thing.

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