The EU and the Turkish border

This week sees the EU offer visa free access to Turkey for the Schengen countries. In return the EU has set Turkey 72 tasks to improve her border controls, visa and passport handling and  more general human rights improvements along with better access to asylum for those fleeing terror.  Turkey has borders with Syria, Iraq and Iran. The EU, in an effort to stop illegals coming by sea from Turkey to Greece, now has to be more concerned about Turkey’s borders with the Middle East. .

The UK government claims this has no impact on us, as we are not in Schengen. That is not true. The EU is paying for some of the improvements to Turkish migration handling and border security. The UK will be expected to pay her share of the costs through the EU budget – there is no separate Schengen area budget. The UK will be affected as more Turkish people enter the Schengen area and maybe gain citizen rights within the EU, allowing them entry as residents to the UK.

Reading the documents the EU is seeking to make Turkish systems and policies the same as EU ones. It is clearly preparatory to full Turkish membership of the EU, which is underway at a slow pace with a formal Turkish application. This border agreement could result in some speeding up of the full application, as it deals with many of the issues the EU has found difficult about Turkish membership in the past. The 72 measures Turkey has to implement for the visa free movements includes the right to a fair trial, freedom of expression and no discrimination against people on racial or religious grounds. This week will see the EU say in terms that Turkey has gone far enough in fulfilling these requests to justify visa free  status, whilst no doubt urging further improvement.

The Turkish authorities have to offer judicial protection to asylum seekers, and a proper appeals process. At the same time the EU is assisting Turkey to strengthen her borders with Syria, Iraq and Iran. This according to the EU official report includes “ditch excavation, lighting, wire entanglement, trellis fence, road maintenance and construction and modular wall construction”. Turkey is required to negotiate readmission agreements with 14 countries including Afghanistan and Algeria, and to impose airport transit visas on travellers from 18 countries.

In 2013 25,121 “irregular” arrivals of people were recorded by Turkey.In 2015 this shot up to 888,457. Turkey is housing many Syrian refugees and others and wants help from the EU neighbours. As a result the EU’s border controls now require strong controls on the Turkish borders, and the UK along with all other member states has to help design and pay for a better border system for Turkey.





  1. Richard1
    May 4, 2016

    We should take any such contributions out of the Overseas Aid budget. This would actually constitute useful overseas aid unlike much of the rubbish that dept seems to have spent our money on in the govt’s virtue signalling commitment to spend 0.7% of GDP.

    I hope turkey will move to improve human rights etc, if it does this counts as a positive development due to EU influence.

    Does the UK – and do other EU countries – have a specific veto over a new EU entrant such as Turkey when the time comes or is this a majority vote?

    1. Denis Cooper
      May 4, 2016

      British politicians in the government and Parliament can veto the admission of a new country to the EU. However one of those politicians, the fiercely eurosceptic William Hague, made sure that the British people would not have that power of veto, at least not as a right under existing legislation.

      His “referendum lock” law, the European Union Act 2011, has a Section 4(4)(c) which provides a blanket exemption for all accession treaties:

      “(4) A treaty or Article 48(6) decision does not fall within this section merely because it involves one or more of the following –

      (a) the codification of practice under TEU or TFEU in relation to the previous exercise of an existing competence;

      (b) the making of any provision that applies only to member States other than the United Kingdom;

      (c) in the case of a treaty, the accession of a new member State.”

      That exemption has already been invoked once, to block a referendum om whether we wanted Croatia to be allowed to join the EU, and no doubt it would be invoked in the future for other accessions – Albania and the rest of the Balkan states not already in the EU, Ukraine, Turkey and a list of other potential EU member states.

      You can’t build an EU stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals, as Cameron has said he wants, if you ever ask the British people whether that is what they want.

    2. brian
      May 4, 2016

      Every EU member has a veto over new members.

      1. Horatio
        May 4, 2016

        I wouldn’t trust Cast Iron Dave with taking out the bins let alone representing this country and wielding our veto

        1. Lifelogic
          May 5, 2016

          Nor me. He his fake long grass “renegotiation” was a complete joke.

      2. Anonymous
        May 4, 2016

        Can you imagine the furore from the Left and the BBC if a Conservative government tried to veto the admission of Turkey ?

        “RAAAAACIST !”

        To avoid this dilemma the only way is Out.

      3. Hope
        May 4, 2016

        Cameron supports Turkey’s membership and we read is paying £2 billion to speed up its application. He has already used our taxes for £253 million on the contribution JR writes about. JR, I think Mr Gove’s article over the weekend about the cost of Albanians equally applies here. The cost to the UK is already £18 million just for the cost of jailing its citizens here in the UK before Albania has joined the EU! This is not including the incalculable suffering to our citizens who were the victims of those crimes. While Cameron lies that the UK is safer and secure in the EU. Once more this is in contrast to what he told the select committee today that he wants to help the other EU countries raise their standards! Which version is correct which is lies?

      4. Denis Cooper
        May 5, 2016

        But we, the people, are not allowed a veto.

        From February 2012:

        “All of the provisions of the Croatia Accession Treaty relate to the accession of a new member State to the European Union and thus the Croatia Accession Treaty as a whole is subject to the exemption provided for in section 4(4)(c) of the Act.

        In my opinion the Treaty concerning the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union of 9 December 2011 does not fall within section 4 of the Act and no referendum is required in the UK.

        Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs”

    3. lojolondon
      May 4, 2016

      All members have to unanimously accept any new member. Unfortunately you are totally deluded if you think this means the British people have a chance of stopping Turkey joining, because since Blair every government has been totally behind Turkey’s admission and we will be one of the countries influencing others to overlook ‘minor transgressions for the greater good’ and pushing for entry.

      1. Horatio
        May 4, 2016

        Been leafleting in the sun this fine afternoon.

        After an hour I worked out that the points which get most traction with those out of the political loop are:

        3 weeks for a GPS appt
        English as a foreign language in our schools
        Being an island and a net importer of fish

        Rather than economics, people were bringing up the EU as a preventer of continental war. I pointed out that Britain and France paying 2% of GOP to protect the others while most don’t even spend 1% is unfair and that the German economy would not be nearly as big if they actually spent money on defence.

        If Leavers want to nuance the public’s number 1 fear: immigration just discuss public services as this is what they understand..

      2. Richard1
        May 4, 2016

        No I think you are quite wrong. I do not think any British govt could or would push for further expansion to include Turkey or the Ukraine if it was clear the majority opposed it. In many countries a referendum would be required.

        1. Original Richard
          May 4, 2016


          I think you are completely wrong.

          I think you should read Mr. Cameron’s speech in Ankara, Turkey on 27/07/2010 :

          Where Mr. Cameron said :

          “I will remain your strongest possible advocate for EU membership
          and for greater influence at the top table of European diplomacy. This is something I feel very strongly and very passionately about. Together I want us to pave the road from Ankara to Brussels.”

          Mr. Cameron is more than capable of ignoring the wishes of the UK population and will be able to do so if we vote to remain in the EU at the forthcoming EU referendum.

        2. Denis Cooper
          May 5, 2016

          It doesn’t matter much to politicians if a majority of the people oppose something, if they have no legal way to enforce their will. I should have thought that was obvious, not least after the Lisbon Treaty.

          1. Richard1
            May 5, 2016

            Labours reneging on the referendum on the Lisbon treaty caused a great furore amongst politicians but I don’t think the nation gave two hoots, no one knew what the treaty accession of Turkey would be different.

  2. The Active Citizen
    May 4, 2016

    “The UK will be expected to pay her share of the costs through the EU budget – there is no separate Schengen area budget.”

    I’d always assumed there was a separate budget for costs relating to the management of the Schengen area. Naive of me I suppose.

    If this is true then it’s a highly significant point – one which I’m surprised Vote Leave hasn’t promoted. I’ll see what’s quantified in the EU’s accounts about this. (Always fun, trying to wade through and make sense of their accounts…)

    1. Denis Cooper
      May 4, 2016

      It is especially significant because the UK has a treaty opt-out from the EU’s common and asylum policy, part of that “special status” which Cameron falsely claims to have secured through his “renegotiation” even though that protocol was already in place before he embarked on that exercise in duping the electorate, and that opt-out protocol clearly states that the UK can not only choose to be exempt from any measures taken under that policy but can also choose to be exempt from any financial consequences of such measures, apart from any associated increase in the administrative expenses of the EU institutions.

      Article 5 in Protocol (No 20):

      “A Member State which is not bound by a measure adopted pursuant to Title V of Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union shall bear no financial consequences of that measure other than administrative costs entailed for the institutions, unless all members of the Council, acting unanimously after consulting the European Parliament, decide otherwise.”

      Therefore if the UK is contributing to the bribe offered to Turkey that can only be because the UK government has agreed to do so, presumably thinking that is the way to solve the problem of the EU being both unable and unwilling to secure its external border in the Aegean.

      We would do better to put that money towards a fleet of fast armed patrol boats to intercept the huge numbers of migrants who will be completely free to move right across the Schengen area and then try to cross the Channel.

    2. Lifelogic
      May 4, 2016

      Naive perhaps yes, but even when we are not obliged to pay into these EU rescues, politicians like Cameron, Clegg, Blair, Brown, Osborne and Darling just love to pay in anyway. It is so easy being very generous with other people’s money (or money borrowed on the backs of others).

      Can we now finally get on with another runway at Heathrow and at Gatwick please. Also a decent fast shuttle link between them. Now that Cameron has thrown away the chances of a Tory London Mayor I assume we can?

      This by choosing one of his dire second rate “A listers”, a rich boy eco-nut who has never even had a proper job. Unless you included editing the Ecologist Magazine that is.

      Not a very pleasant one either given the nature of his attacks on the Labour Candidate.

      1. Phil Richmond
        May 5, 2016

        That’s unfair Lifelogic. Zac G is no fan of Cameron and passionately wants us to leave the EU.
        I think that puts ahead of most of Cameron’s wet quisling sycophant gang. Don’t you?

  3. Mark B
    May 4, 2016

    All this and more could be done without the offer of membership and VISA free access. If Turkey did not want to play ball with the EU, then the EU should have just threatened to break all trade with Turkey as Russia have done. The mere threat would have been enough to make the Turks come to there senses.

    But as I have alluded to in an earlier post, the EU is run by corporate’s for corporate’s and Turkey and others have plenty of lovely cheap labour to plunder.

  4. Horatio
    May 4, 2016

    Cameron has treated the country and honest Tory MPs like idiots. The BBC which holds 40% of all UK Media share wont cover the financial or other undications of this. The public will remain ignorant.

    Pitiful. I’m voting UKIP for the forseeable future (although if you were my MP i’d still back you of course)

    Just bought and read Dan Hannans ‘why vote leave’ in one sitting. Ordered 20more to share with waverers. Incredible book.

    1. bluedog
      May 5, 2016

      Voting UKIP is a wasted vote, that’s been proved repeatedly. The rational policy is to join the Conservative Party and try to work for the dismissal of Cameron. He’s the problem.

  5. Antisthenes
    May 4, 2016

    Brussels acts on the basis that we are all in it together despite some members not being in the euro, have opt outs and UK not in the Schengen area and purportedly not going to join in political and monetary union. The fact that the EU budget does not differentiate on whose money pays for what makes a whole sham of the case that we will never be more than a trading partner. Brussels is treating us with contempt and obviously has a completely different idea of our future inside the EU than David Cameron and the stayers are suggesting we have. So they are being even more dishonest than we have been giving them credit.

    Brussels must be blind as well as stupid or just deluded if they believe Turkey can ever meet the criteria set for membership of the EU as Turkey is moving in the opposite direction away from those criteria. More likely they know but do not care. EU setting criteria and enforcing it has never got in the way in the past so no doubt it will not in the future when Turkey’s application is finally decided. It will be Turkey in and criteria no where to be seen.

    That is the problem when an person or organisation has untrammelled power it can do what it likes and the EU has that. Brussels he seems is accountable to no one least of all it’s citizens. It can be judge, jury and executioner and the UK can do nothing about that. Leave now or we will have to join in the revolution later when people get wise to and fed up with their absolutism.

    1. Original Richard
      May 4, 2016

      “Brussels must be blind as well as stupid or just deluded if they believe Turkey can ever meet the criteria set for membership of the EU as Turkey is moving in the opposite direction away from those criteria.”

      It looks like “Brussels” wants the EU to move towards Turkey as shown by Mrs. Merkel’s comment that “Islam belongs to Germany” and her wish for a German comedian to be prosecuted for insulting Mr. Erdogan.

      1. stred
        May 5, 2016

        Imagine Turkey in the EU and signed up to the EAW. The Spectator is running a competition for the best insulting poem to President Erdogan, following Mrs M’s decision to allow prosecution for his rude remarks. They have also allowed a Dutch comedian to insult his magnificence.

        Even now, holidays in Turkey must be questionable for anyone who may have upset the Turkish government. Their permanent holiday camps may be quite unpleasant apparently.

  6. Lifelogic
    May 4, 2016

    Indeed leave is the only way to go. Having watched the spectator EU debate it is very clear the remain camp have no rational or remotely sensible arguments. They just keep saying:- North Korea, turning our back on, a leap in the dark, a deal like Norway, Putin, we have control of our borders already, we benefit hugely from mass migration, with no seat at the table, 50% of our trade and 13% of theirs, it will take 10+ years to get a new trade deal.

    Non of these are remotely sensible arguments they are just silly pathetic sound bites. One even said we should mainly stay in the EU to deal with climate change just how daft can you be?

    Who would want to follow people who say things like:-

    Joining the Liberal Party was a no-brainer for me… And when you are a young man, you don’t get a calculator out saying, ‘Am I going to get to power?’ You get propelled forward by idealism. – Nick Clegg


    “Britain must prepare to ditch the pound and join the euro in order to salvage the public finances and prevent the “permanent decline” of the City” – Nick Clegg

    I suppose he is right on Libdem and “idealism” and “no brains” over reason logic and science. As for example with the climate alarmism religion, the EU, the NHS, and their magic money tree economics. Most people as they get older though get rather wiser on these issues. Libdems in all parties seem not too.

    Corbyn like myself was strongly against the common market in the last referendum (though I was too young to vote) but he seems to be going backwards in his wisdom.

    Do you want politicians who think with their brains or with their guts?

  7. Ian Wragg
    May 4, 2016

    What have we to say about Germanies proposition to have a fully integrated EU military. No doubt being headquartered in the Berlin Reichstag
    The Remainiacs and Vote Leave are very quiet on this.

    1. Bob
      May 4, 2016

      @Ian Wragg

      “Vote Leave are very quiet on this.”

      Maybe it was part of the “official designation” deal?
      Haven’t heard much about TTIP either.

  8. JimS
    May 4, 2016

    I don’t understand how the EU solves the ‘immigration crisis’ by moving its external border to Turkey and then giving free access to Turkish citizens to the EU.

    It surely is obvious that Syrians, Afghans, Pakistanis and Chinese(!) that make it into Turkey will miraculously become Turkish and given a free pair of Nike trainers, Adidas bag and iPhone for the onward journey.

    Perhaps our commissars will issue their own ‘European’ passport to these people?

  9. David
    May 4, 2016

    The EU’s outdated mindset of empire building ignores what’s best for the countries that are swallowed into its stagnant corrupt mire of middle management bureacracy. Accession of countries like Turkey into the fold are being rushed through the system, but at the same time we are being told that Brexit could take as many as ten years. But which aspects?

    Is it the case that every aspect of Brexit has to be negotiated before we can become free again? Or can Article 50 be dealt with quickly, leaving the details to take many years to resolve?

  10. The Prangwizard
    May 4, 2016

    There have been reports for months coming out of Turkey of increasing authoritarianism, very little of it being covered by the BBC incidentally. There is harassment of journalists, politicisation of the law, collusion with IS and other activities in direct opposition to what they are meant to be doing to meet EU requirements, which are merely notional anyway.

    The elites of the EU Cameron amongst them are well aware of this and are so arrogant and so determined that their political project and their personal futures must succeed that they ignore it all, they will have their way, no matter what.

    Turkey is a great danger to the people of the continent of Europe and their way of life. The EU knows it is being blackmailed by Turkey but it doesn’t care, the project must continue, nothing even the destruction of Europe itself and its history and culture must be allowed stand in its way. The leadership and its politics is not much interested in it in any event.

    We must vote to leave the EU. It is the only way the UK can protect and preserve itself and its freedoms. We will have a much securer future on the outside.

  11. Kenneth
    May 4, 2016

    The Turkey shambles exposes many of the eu’s contradictions. However the greatest paradox is this:

    To be a member the state must have a democracy. When a state joins the eu it loses its democracy.

    Thus, a state would need to leave 1 minute after it joined

  12. Bert Young
    May 4, 2016

    Turkey as a EU member ? – don’t make me laugh . Turkey is , and has always been geographically and ethnically Middle Eastern . I understand why they want access to European hand-outs and the right to get jobs , but this does not mean that they suddenly become European . I suspect the hand of the USA behind this move as an attempt to isolate Russia still further .

    We should not support this move in any way ; Turkey has never been favourably disposed to this country ; in the past its role in the Middle East and its alliance with Germany caused us many problems . Etc ed

    1. Mitchel
      May 5, 2016

      The Turks are actually migrants from Central Asia,rather than the Middle East,and are ethnic/linguistic cousins of the Tartars of Southern Russia and the Azeris in the Caspian region.

  13. Liz
    May 4, 2016

    Turkey should not be considered for EU membership whilst she imprisons journalists and shuts down news outlets because they criticise their sensitive president. But then Germany has started to copy them by charging a comedian for insulting the Turkish president. Why on earth would we want to stay in an organisation with people like that in charge.

    1. Horatio
      May 4, 2016

      Absolutely agree

    2. Mitchel
      May 5, 2016

      Their parliamentarians,like those in fellow EU aspirants, Ukraine,also seem to have developed a propensity for mass brawling in chamber.

    3. Lifelogic
      May 5, 2016


  14. English Pensioner
    May 4, 2016

    ‘The EU to offer visa free access to Turkey’.
    Who exactly agreed this, the EU Parliament, the Heads of State, or just Germany?
    Has there been any debate of the issue in the EU Parliament, as we would have here if the government were to make such a major change, or is it done simply by administrators without consultation?

    1. Martyn G
      May 4, 2016

      “Who exactly agreed this, the EU Parliament, the Heads of State, or just Germany”? Germany, I think who is leading the Commissioners as it seems best. I am no doubt deluded in thinking this, but it seems to me that we are seeing the emergence of the next Holy Roman Empire, led by Germany where, (words left out ed)still resides the crown of the last Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
      Whatever, I fear that we are approaching a very serious problem with movements of peoples that will overwhelm nations and lead to serious unrest if not war – the very thing that the EU was constructed to prevent and yet now seems to be driving towards, without any recognition or care for the sovereignty of individual nations and their ethnic populations.

  15. Brian Tomkinson
    May 4, 2016

    Cameron is on record as an avid supporter of Turkeyjoining the EU. As Douglas Murray wrote in The Spectator on 15 March this year:
    “Has he changed his mind at all? It would appear not. Only a few months ago he confirmed in response to a question in the Commons that his government’s policy remains entirely supportive of Turkey joining the EU. His view remains what it was in 2010 when he told Erdogan: ‘My view is clear. I believe it’s just wrong to say that Turkey can guard the camp but not be allowed to sit in the tent. So I will remain your strongest possible advocate for EU membership and for greater influence at the top-table of European diplomacy.’”
    Meanwhile, amongst all the other attacks on what we would regard as democratic rights and values, the Turkish parliament has on two occasions within the past week resorted to violent brawling rather than debate. Cameron has a lot to answer for.

    May 4, 2016

    The EU negotiators with Turkey appear to have cut-glass British accents, black bowler hats, small brief cases which hold a couple of sandwiches, knowledge of the most recent score in local cricket matches and believe writing a “stinking letter” to whatever authority which irks them will “really show them” and “make them think twice”. It must be so. Stereotypical British who naively believe “Johnny Foreigner” learns by British example and his word is his bond. Free of course from all corruption apart from the odd bad apple.
    Even at the height of the Cold War, Turkey’s borders with Soviet Empire and satellite countries were porous. Turkey will soon be the gateway for the rest of the world’s citizens beyond their wildest dreams to enter the EU and then enter the UK. A few US dollars will provide access across Turkish borders, as always. Clever printers and very professional document and visa fraudsters will get even more business and that is where US dollars make unnecessary formal documents and proofs. Not to mention those in Turkey who are used to getting bribes even for legitimate pursuits.
    Oh then there is the terribly British attitude here in the UK where Mr Cameron is hosting an International Anti-Corruption Summit on 12th May. No doubt he firmly believes that “it’s not us but them ” who are corrupt.
    It is inconceivable that in this glittering jewel of the world where migration is very big business indeed in terms of accommodation provision alone…where literally tens of millions of pounds are at stake that we’ll not get much more than any negotiated settlement with Turkey of masses of persons from around the world
    Security-wise, we need to get out of the EU immediately. Aside from the terrorist risk which is colossal, plain and simple corruption will finish the UK. And the world will laugh at us…actually, despite our inflated egos, as always.

  17. Mitchel
    May 4, 2016

    Turkish forces have been shelling Kurdish towns-at least one of which could now pass for a Syrian battleground.The PKK leader in a clandestine interview with the BBC last week has effectively declared war on the Turkish government again.There seems to be a terrorist bombing event almost every week and terrorists and arms continue to seep across the border to Syria.Turkey seems to have difficult relations with all its neighbours apart from US proxies.We should build a wall/barrage to keep Turkey and it’s problems and neo-Ottoman pretensions out of Europe- from which, but for misguided Anglo-French foreign policy in the 19th century, it would probably have been expelled.

  18. Colin Hart
    May 4, 2016

    Splendid example of how effective the EU is negotiating as a bloc rather than as separate countries.

    Congratulations to CMD for (not) keeping us out of this particular arrangement.

  19. Iago
    May 4, 2016

    Turkey has three million of these migrants on its territory and, whilst they have been in Turkey, they have had five hundred thousand babies. After they have been in Turkey three years, Erdogan gives these people Turkish citizenship – he knows they will vote for him – and presumably they too will get visa free access to the Schengen area.

  20. forthurst
    May 4, 2016

    “The 72 measures Turkey has to implement for the visa free movements includes the right to a fair trial, freedom of expression and no discrimination against people on racial or religious grounds.”

    Turkey has done pretty well in fulfilling these conditions; clearly exceptions need to be made for the prosecution and incarceration of those that have the temerity to criticise Erdogan’s Presidency and, of course, to sanction the bombardment of Kurdish civilians both in Turkey and Syria. On the whole, Turkey is a very civilised country with no plans to re-create the Ottoman Empire; there is no doubt that Turkey will be an incredible asset towards promoting multiculturalisation etc ed which is manifestly the policy of the Brussels regime.

    1. Mitchel
      May 5, 2016

      “no plans to re-create the Ottoman Empire”

      What is it doing in Syria and Iraq then?The Ottoman Empire was also “very civilised” in a decadent sort of way.

  21. stred
    May 4, 2016

    Off subject. The late Professor Sir David Mackay gave a final interview 11 days before his death and gave his opinion on energy policy for the UK. This was released with the agreement of his wife yesterday. He was a believer in AGW and the eventual need to replace fossil fuels, but he was a brilliant mathematician and physicist and knew what questions needed to be asked and worked out the answers. He expresses his disappointment in the people on his side who grasp at ideas about solar, wind and biofuels, without doing so.

    In a country committed to building huge windfarms in the North Sea, burning American trees and still making solar on roofs necessary to make building regulations work, his words will be devastating to the uneducated zealots at DECC and the HoC.

    The interview is a moving tribute to this brilliant man.

    May 4, 2016

    Not off Topic:
    Rt Hon Theresa May and Rt Hon Andy Burnham showed great remorse at their Partys’ and Local Authority/Police’ long-term failures in regard to telling the truth. Football.

    Yet they are both confident beyond even the realms of persistent drug taking reality, of the UK’s institutional and structural ability to deal with present levels of legal immigration and, illegal immigration which, by definition as Ex-Minster Blunkett admitted is quite impossible to know let alone regulate.

    The sad truth is ( think of Rotherham ) that even with settled long-term migrants we British do not have anywhere near sufficient control. Our own British people are corruptible, obviously. great amounts of money quite beyond and far in excess of the bribing wallets of the local spiv activity are even now on offer.

    With the best will in the world, and with the most sweated hard work on their parts, the Rt Hons must be aware, must be, that with the addition of Turkey and its impact, there can be no way they will have enough tears about what is likely to befall their jurisdiction.

  23. Mike Stallard
    May 4, 2016

    The people who run the EU have made a terrible mistake. They have encouraged Turkey which is in no way European – religion, philosophy, political arrangements, economy, press freedom – to stop the flow of migrants – which was a terrible mistake by Mrs Merkel.
    Instead of putting the mistake right, they are digging themselves deeper and deeper into trouble. This is something which no democratic government wold dare to do.
    To pretend that we who are right there in the EU – Schengen or no Schengen – are not going to pay the price for this blind act of misgovernment is ridiculous. The EU does not work like that. (The ratchet, ever closer union, etc).

  24. Denis Cooper
    May 4, 2016

    It’s quite amusing that the Remainders have been floating the idea that if the UK leaves the EU we will need visas to visit France – a requirement originally abolished in 1946*, nothing to do with the EU – while Turks (and pretend Turks) will not need a visa.


    “Exchange of Notes between His Majesty’ s Government in the United Kingdom and the Government of the French Republic concerning the Mutual Abolition of Visas”

    “London, 24th/27th December, 1946”

  25. fedupsoutherner
    May 4, 2016

    Good morning John. Good post again. Slightly off topic, can you please tell me if you believe that Britain will lose its triple A rating if we vote for Brexit?

    Reply Credit rating should be fine as our public finances improve when we cease paying the contributions, as does our balance of payments

    1. Anonymous
      May 4, 2016

      Actually… I thought we’d already lost our AAA rating and our membership of the EU didn’t stop it.

      1. Anonymous
        May 4, 2016

        I copied this from Wiki:

        Standard & Poor’s: AAA (domestic) AAA (foreign) AAA (T&C Assessment)

        Moody’s: Aa1

        Fitch: AA+

    2. Lifelogic
      May 4, 2016

      Indeed the credit worthiness of the country should improve hugely. Fewer regulations, out of the EURO bail outs, restore a sensible quality only immigration policy, less pressure on public service, no fee to pay, energy can be half the current price, far fewer regulations. Also a far nimbler government that can act in the UK’s interests rather than the interest of EU bureaucrats and the extra huge bonus of getting rid of our incompetent, lefty, IHT ratting, pension robbing, wage controlling, tenant robbing, chancellor.

      I see Insurance Premium Tax is to go up yet again thanks to Osborne. From the absurdly high 9.5% to 10% I think it was 4% when Osborne took over. Yet still he runs a huge PSBR and a record peacetime trade deficit. While public services and the NHS in particular just get worse & worse by the day. Get rid of him as soon as possible with this referendum.

  26. bluedog
    May 4, 2016

    Utter madness. They must have taken leave of their senses in Brussels. Still, like the Obama Intervention, the Turkish Accession is yet another factor in favour of Brexit. The EU is completely out of control and we cannot afford to have our lives dominated by by this long running farce any longer.

  27. oldtimer
    May 4, 2016

    OT but of interest:
    …is an article bt Mr Campbell Bannerman MEP who seems to be very well informed about EU trade negotiations (as a member of the parliament’s International Trade Committee).

  28. pete
    May 4, 2016

    they are required to adhere to “no discrimination against people on racial or religious grounds”

    what about adding “bombing, attacking and suppression to that sentence….?

    Also what about their role in funding terrorist groups by large oil procurements via convoys from ISIL in Syria or was that made up propaganda by RT?

  29. Anonymous
    May 4, 2016

    Immigration is an economic argument, not a racist one.

    How can ordinary people be better off if the numbers coming are to share their wealth ? It doesn’t matter how the UK accounts look if the average person feels poorer.

    Because of this the Remainers’ figures do not stack up.

    Calling a person worried about the numbers involved in mass immigration a xenophobe is as silly as calling a drowning man a hydrophobe. Labour is actually the party of (words left out ed) (anti semitism) and not UKIP.

  30. turbo terrier
    May 4, 2016

    With all the huffing and puffing of yesterday’s men Darling, Clegg etc not a word about united European Armed Forces.

    What the hell did all those who have died for our country’s freedom in two world wars and the subsequent skirmishes do it for? Especially when you see the number who will not be voting tomorrow on a principle!!

    What and who the hell does CMD thinks he is kidding. Worse than all the unsaid and untruths that were battered around by a certain Mr Wilson at the last referendum.

    If the man had any principles he would resign before the vote takes place.

    In reality he has renegotiated three fifths of naff all. It is a very sad sick joke.

    He is a disgrace to the office he holds as are many of his senior ministers who follow him like little lap dogs only concerned with their own political future.

    I suspect that this will not be published but at least you know how a lot of us really feel.

  31. Margaret
    May 4, 2016

    Foolish people who don’t accept our pending fate.Brexit

  32. ChrisS
    May 4, 2016

    The EU can only work if the member states have a fair amount of common ground and culture but, thanks to Blair, the it has already been encouraged to expand too far.

    There can be very few ordinary citizens around Europe who think Turkey is a suitable candidate for EU membership but the politicians are simply not listening to them.

    Turkey’s GDP is so far behind even the weakest current EU member state that, were it allowed to join on normal terms, the cost to the few member states who are net contributors to bring it up to an acceptable minimum level would be simply unaffordable.
    Of course the UK is currently one of the biggest net contributors. Hopefully not for much longer.

    Then we have the insurmountable security problem of moving the external border of the EU through Turkey so that it ajoins Middle Eastern states like Syria.

    We know that Merkel and the dreamers running the EU are desperate to end the migrant crisis but are they quite mad as well ?

    More than a decade ago, Hague was ridiculed for warning that the Euro would cause rioting in the streets yet that’s exactly what happened in Athens.

    Should Merkel encourage and be allowed to cajole those inhabiting the ivory towers of Brussels to let Turkey join the EU there will be rioting all over the EU, not just in Athens.

    1. Anonymous
      May 4, 2016

      “9,000 of the 75,000 prisoners in custody are foreign nationals” The most recent figures I can find are 2006. It costs around £40,000 pa to house one prisoner. £360m pa on those figures.

      Why is it so difficult to find current figures on the cost of crime attributable to open border policy ?

      (Wiki shows that 10% of the prison population are ex servicemen !)

      1. Anonymous
        May 4, 2016

        Sorry. This comment was in response to Matthu at 5.01

      2. matthu
        May 5, 2016

        Germany is about to run out of prison cells due to the unprecedented migrant influx in the country.

        Foreigners make up 9 percent of Germany’s population, but close to 30 percent of its prison population. The number is even higher among incarcerated people awaiting trial, as there is a risk they will leave the country.

        The states need to hire more people and open new facilities to cope, according to Federal Union of Prison Staff (BSBD) President Anton Bachl.

        “The wave of refugees is not without consequence for the German prisons,” Bachl said in Thursday’s edition of Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung (NOZ), “because more than one million refugees have come in the past year, with 30,000 [criminal] cases in process.”

        This was reported on 16 March.

  33. matthu
    May 4, 2016

    Mr Blair has come out in defence of the wave of migrants from eastern European countries when he was Prime Minister, saying they “contributed more in taxes than they took in benefits”.

    If we assume that each new migrant (on average) is entitled to £10,000 in benefits and pays (on average) £10,001 in tax, does that mean that the country can sustain an unlimited inflow of migrants?

    That already exposes the fallacy of Blair’s argument.

    But more migrants mean more schools, more roads, more trains, more hospitals, more GPs, more police, more prisons … plus each new migrant also potentially displaces a UK jobseeker from gainful employment, so they would need to cover his/her benefits as well!

    1. matthu
      May 4, 2016

      Put in mathematical terms, it is not sufficient that the marginal contribution of each new migrant exceeds the marginal take in benefits. Instead, the marginal contribution needs to exceed the marginal cost.

      The marginal cost will include the marginal benefit, the marginal benefit paid out to any existing UK resident displaced in the workforce, and the marginal cost of having to provide new schools, new roads, new trains, new hospitals, new GPs, new police, new prisons etc.

      1. stred
        May 6, 2016

        Matthu. There is a graph showing ‘Contributions of immigrants to the UK economy/ratio of expenditure to expenditure’ by Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration – UCL. reproduced on Perhaps you could find out what is included.It shows contributions less than benefits from 2009 to 2011. Perhaps they stopped when the lines were going the wrong way.

  34. Iain Gill
    May 4, 2016

    I see the BBC is doing its best to keep the Southern Health ‘abusive phone call’ to bereaved mother low down the news agenda. This for me is the real world NHS there for all to see. For goodness sake can somebody in power wake up and realise the NHS cannot continue like this.

  35. DaveM
    May 4, 2016

    Cameron was doing ok with the so-called refugee business. He even rightly pointed out that if they’re in an EU country they’re in a safe place. Then he caved 2 minutes later. He really is weaker than a soggy kit kat.

    If this is to happen we need to do tests like the Danish have. Otherwise…. Well, look at Stockholm station. Oh, and where is this unlimited number of children going to live, go to school, etc,?

    I’ve stayed off the web and off your excellent site for a few days as a tester. The Sun newspaper is the only place normal folk are likely to find real anti-EU information offline.

    1. matthu
      May 4, 2016

      The problems with accepting new childen from Europe are that

      (1) very often their age is undetermined and in some cases where crimes have been alleged in other European countries their ages have subsequently been estimated as being several years into adulthood rather than children

      (2) in the UK we find it difficult enough to keep track of our own displaced children who are housed in children’s homes or foster homes in cases where they have no affiliation to where they have been housed and no wish to remain. How many of these children will simply disappear?

      (3) coming from very different backgrounds to UK children they will need to be assimilated into our value system but as children there will be no effective means of disciplining them either through the courts or otherwise.

      Some of these are “kids” who have shown considerable independence, fortitude and ingenuity in travelling across Europe. If we accept 3000 of them in one fell swoop, do we have any idea how many we will still be looking after in appropriate housing 12 months later?

    May 4, 2016

    94% of Mr Cameron’s “children” which he intends to insult France and Italy and Germany by smuggling into the UK against the wishes of people here on the grounds that “WE” are compassionate are over the age of 14. Most 16 and 17. The quicker he resigns the better. And takes his teenagers with him.

  37. fedupsoutherner
    May 4, 2016

    I notice that the BBc keeps showing very small children with regard to child refugees and Cameron changing his mind. In reality many of the so called ‘children’ are quite mature males who are probably lying about their ages. How long before their parents, aunts, uncles etc all come over? etc ed

  38. matthu
    May 4, 2016

    For once, really good arguments made against TTIP-type deals in the Guardian:

    “It’s amazing how just a little transparency forced onto the free trade deals the Obama administration been negotiating in secret totally turns the public against them.”

    “The US trade representative even admitted at the time that the administration knew if the public found out what is in these trade deals, public opposition would be significant.

    “What progressive champion Senator Elizabeth Warren said then is even more true now: ‘If transparency would lead to widespread public opposition to a trade agreement, then that trade agreement should not be the policy of the United States.'”

    (Nor that of the UK one presumes?)

  39. Lindsay McDougall
    May 4, 2016

    Turkey is NOT a European nation. I thought that we had a veto over new EU entrants.

    1. Denis Cooper
      May 5, 2016

      Nope, we don’t have a veto. Our politicians do, but we don’t.

  40. Edward.
    May 5, 2016


    The accession of Turkey into the EU will come to pass.

    Laws, requirements, legal process can all be circumvented, that’s the beauty of the EU, if a rule or a requisite doesn’t suit – they move the goal posts or, change the venue.

    A point was made about and was so rightly alluded to, in that, the great and the good have told us ere islanders and in no uncertain terms “it will take 10 years to negotiate a new deal!”
    “you’ll have to go to the back of the queue”


    If on the other hand, you want to join the club, Gadzooks! what happy circumstance! Yes sir! all rules can be set aside – even if you have form a mile long and six feet deep of paper and are hardly a reputable chappie of good reputation – if you catch my drift.

    No problem Sir!

    Bring on the GermanoEuroArmy – who said Berlin can’t get things done – eh?

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