The Turkey refugee facility to be paid to Turkey by the EU which stood at Euro 3bn prior to the latest meeting will be paid for out of a mixture of EU and member states budgets. One third comes from the EU, and two thirds from EU states proportionately to their Gross National Income. The direct UK share of the 2bn of this facility will be £250 million, which will come out of the UK overseas aid budget. Presumably any expansion of the money to Turkey which has been discussed in the latest meeting will also be a further charge on the UK budget.
The Agreement does not look well crafted or helpful to the EU. The EU has offered visa free access for all Turks from June this year, and has agreed to take a Syrian for every Syrian returned to Turkey under the new more aggressive policing of the EU’s external frontier. Illegal migrants from other countries will simply be returned with no commitment to take anyone in their place.
It is difficult to see how this system is going to work. Who is going to return the illegal migrants? How will the take up of Syrians from Turkey be organised and shared out between the EU member states? Why will any of this deter more people from coming to the EU? Won’t it encourage more migrants to destroy their passports and documents and claim they are from Syria?
It also leaves the UK government with some explaining to do. Why did they sign an agreement which apparently means the UK too has to accept visa free access for all Turks from June? Mr Cameron says we are outside Schengen and none of this applies to us, but maybe he was just referring to the EU agreement to share the task of accepting Syrians from Turkey. It does not seem to include Turkish visa free access, as the Agreement published by the EU sets this out for the whole EU. There needs to be urgent clarification of the visa free access issue. The Agreement says “visa liberalisation roadmap with all member states with a view to lifting the visa requirements for Turkish citizens at the latest by the end of June 2016”