The Malta declaration on migrants

At Malta the EU once again paraded its lack of common decency. The 27 failed to reassure all UK citizens living in other member states that they are legally and morally entitled to stay! The UK of course has offered those assurances for EU citizens legally settled today in the UK on a reciprocal basis.


There are two main problems with the EU’s decisions on migrants at Malta.

The first is the EU has effectively shifted the responsibility to stem the rapid flow of migrants across the Mediterranean to the Government of National Accord in Libya. This government is struggling to exert its control over Libya, which remains a deeply divided country with a rival government in Tobruk and areas of the country under tribal and rebel control. No doubt it will welcome the money promised to strengthen its coastguard and for related purposes, but can it spend it nationally to achieve the EU’s aims? Will it be tempted to spend it for other purposes related to its own difficult position?

The second is the request for a policy to return people who have  already arrived  in the EU following illegal migration. How are they going to do this? Why do they bring people in to the EU in the first place if they want to take them back to countries like Libya? Will it be legal to require people to leave? What will they do if they refuse?


It is difficult to believe this statement will work to stop the flow. It is also difficult to see how it squares with the EU vision of itself as a home to welcome migrants as outlined by Mrs Merkel last year. How does this differ from Mr Trumps wish cut numbers crossing the Mexican frontier?

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    It should at last be clear that the EU is not fit for purpose. It is attempting to act as a nation-state, but without political cohesiveness, support of the majority of its population and no military capacity. It is incompetent and undemocratic.
    Once again our PM was treated disrespectfully; its time to stop the charade of an ‘amical divorce’. The EU apparatchiks seek to do us harm; acknowledge it and respond accordingly.
    Please encourage Mrs May to leave our departure from the EU to her chosen team and she should continue with developing worldwide (especially Commonwealth) trade opportunities.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      I agree Peter, but I hope you like fudge because that’s what we’re going to get unless we take the fight to these people.

      Co-operation in areas of mutual interest, and the same market access that other countries have without the free movement of people, is where we should draw the line. Those things are eminently achievable just as long as the PM and her negotiators don’t buckle.


      • Peter Wood
        Posted February 4, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        A win today at Twichenham would be a good start!

        • getahead
          Posted February 4, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          Only just Peter !

        • Bert Young
          Posted February 4, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          Peter – the game was terrible . England did not really deserve to win . Jones had better pull something out of the hat before next week-end . I would definitely ditch Hartley .

        • Mark
          Posted February 4, 2017 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

          Good start duly made albeit not in style. The Ireland Scotland match was much more entertaining and free flowing with a good referee (don’t we need one of those?) . For once I could not begrudge the Scots a victory. It was almost enough to make you forget Sturgeon.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 4, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        Indeed but is May up to the job with her daft statist, interventionist, let’s have even more red tape and taxes agenda.

        Nor should we have to pay anything any payment should be in reverse as we import more of them than they do of us. Even if we did have to pay £80 billion or something we could just cancel HS2 which has no significant finished value anyway and would be no worse off! So bonkers is the project.

        Then again cancel HS2 and pay nothing to the EU and every family would be about £2000 better off, but they would have to spent an extra ten minutes working or reading a book when they caught a train London to Birmingham.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

          I’m right with you LL. HS2 makes no sense whatsoever, and the money would be better spent elsewhere. Our nation’s infrastructure is creaking under the strain, our roads are gridlocked and often dangerously overcrowded (I invite others to drive down the A14 to see what I mean), we still have our own people languishing on the sausage roll whilst jobs are taken by those prepared to undercut wages, the environment is under pressure like never before, and houses are in short supply.

          What a fantastic thing this immigration is! Yet there are still politicians who want yet more of the same. We need to learn to treat them with a great deal of suspicion.


          • Hope
            Posted February 5, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

            Lord Adonis, another former Labour minister appointed by Cameron/Osborne, to carry on the EU infrastructure project, the same as mayors. The public voted against mayors yet May continues in contrast to the public’s wishes.

            Has anyone got any factual base for May cancelling anything EU? The ECHR continues despite promises not to and she has kicked it into the long grass! ECJ still rules over us. Immigration still continues at record levels each time breaking the previous record of numbers arriving and even though NI numbers issued show the govt figures to be a sham. it is three times worse than they are reporting.

  2. fedupsoutherner
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I suppose we will be asked to contribute to this even though we aren’t party to a lot of negotiations in the EU now as we are leaving but not for at least 2 years!!! I wonder how much this will cost us while we are still paying foreign aid? Are we still going to rescue and bring immigrants to Europe? If so, why? What about other countries? What happen if they are from Somalia or Afghanistan? The EU is deluded if they think the flow of illegal immigrants is going to stop. They were interviewing some illegal immigrants in Malta last night on the news and they were demanding jobs and somewhere to live etc. I couldn’t help think what a laugh. There aren’t enough jobs for people born in Malta or the rest of Europe let alone jobs for someone who shouldn’t even be there!! We can’t get out soon enough but I hope May has some robust checks in place for immigration.

  3. Cheshire Girl
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I predict this wont work. They’ll all go home saying they’ve ‘done something’ about the migrant problem, when in reality they have only ‘ ‘said something’. We’ve been here before, and people won’t be fooled!

    • getahead
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      That was O’Bama’s policy. All you have to do to solve a problem is to talk about it.

      • getahead
        Posted February 4, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        is talk about it

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      ‘Done something’ when in reality they have only ‘said something’ ….. well such are nearly all politicians. Then they go on pass laws yet still they have done little. Indeed usually they have just done harm.

  4. Iain Gill
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile trump is significantly changing the H1B visa regime, to reduce the mass import of cheap foreign workers undercutting Americans in the information technology business. On the information technology message forums the whole of the British information technology workforce is asking why the UK doesn’t make similar changes to our equivalent intra company transfer visas. And like trump tell India that we will not be swapping trade deals for mass visa issuing.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      That is a separate issue really. Step 1 is to regain control of all immigration to U.K. Only then can the government of the day properly plan a visa regime to target particular skills and/or countries.

      On another topic, there is a lot of talk about Trump bullying USA multinational companies into repatriating jobs. Well, why not ?

      • Richard1
        Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        Because if every government did the same thing it’s the end of multinational business. That’s the problem with protectionism

    • Richard1
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      I don’t see it being in the best interests of the UK economy to tell companies they can’t hire the best possible person they must put up with whomever they can get from the UK. Technology companies I’m involved with have been positive about Brexit as they think it means more openness to global hiring. If instead it means insular Trumpian anti-foreigner restrictions it will be bad news.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 4, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Indeed take the best from wherever but be selective and very “discriminating” on the grounds of what is best for the UK.

        Importing lots of low skilled, low wage workers, paying little or nothing in tax, is clearly a huge & unsustainable net liability for the (admittedly bloated and inept) state.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Iain Gill

      “The whole UK IT workforce is asking on the forums”

      What , all 2 million of them? must of taken you quite some time to read

  5. alan jutson
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    The worry about where the money is spent, is as usual out of our hands as soon as we hand it over.

    Why do we continue to act like this, its not as if we are so rich as a Country we can throw it away.

    Why do we simply not agree to help by having ships standing by at sea to tow them back, then we know the result,and the policy is clear.

    Every time we go to a meeting abroad it seems to cost us millions or billions, indeed it now seems to happen so often I wonder why we need a foreign aid budget/department at all

    • getahead
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      Well said Alan

  6. Jack snell
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Looking at the tv reports of migrants being picked up in the meditteranean off the coast of libya it seems to me that the vast numbr of these migrants are not from north africa at all but more likely from west african countries, nigeria in particular, Furthermore their sex and age profile is predominantly males aged between sixteen and mid twenties. You would have to wonder that if all of these people are accepted and get settled in europe somewhere, probably in high rise buildings, – exactly what are they going to do with themselves- how are they going to spend their time? where are they going to work? Are they all going to remaim single for the rest of their lives or who will be their patners in life – none of makes any sense.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Set up a free ferry service and have done with it. Then the military can get on with defence… but what’s the point !

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    An excellent discussion of HS2 the other day on the daily politics yesterday with the Institute for Fiscal Affairs. Andrew Neil sensibly said “never mind spending £80 billion for HS2 I would be happy with just £8 million spent on better internet on the trains” – me too.

    The trains from London to Birmingham and back can cost as little as £12 return and plenty of empty seats too. £80 billion in tax cuts would be far, far better for the economy, the private sector would not touch HS2 with a barge pole.

  8. LordBlagger
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    We need illegal migrants to be housed on a scottish island. Safe, some tents, food etc.

    Then we need efficient determination of whether they are genuine refugees. That’s down to you John and other MPs and you’ve been an unmitigated disaster in this area.

    If they aren’t then they need to be returned to their countries. Again here, MPs and the government have been a disaster. If a country doesn’t accept the return of illegal migrants, then I suggest that visa fees are ramped up so the fees cover the UK’s costs, or tariffs. Offer the countries concerned a choice as to how they pay.

    For those without papers who won’t say, then they have a life in a tent on that Scottish island.

    • getahead
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t you know? They’re all refugees.

  9. June Romans
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I’ve never understood why we have seen fit to bring all those people across the Mediterranean in the first place. Once they are in Europe, you have problem. Any ships we have on patrol should be blockading the coasts to prevent those rust buckets ever leaving port, but as long as we stand by ready to rescue the migrants, the traffickers will keep sending them – and at who knows what cost in drownings.
    Nobody now believes, surely, that the migrants are anything other than economic. In some ways you have to admire their guts and determination, but reality then sets in and you know it has to be stopped or there will be no end to it.
    If we are still paying towards this operation, we need to rethink what is being done and insist on changes. We can’t afford to keep paying out like this.

    • getahead
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      June you’re not allowed to state the bleedin’ obvious.

    • ChrisS
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      The only thing the EU ever needed to do was secure one port in Libya so it would be safe for the Warships picking up refugees to return them to.

      Once the economic migrants see this happening on a regular basis they won’t even bother to make the dangerous trip crossing the desert.

      Britain knows the area well – Tobruk springs immediately to mind and it is the city in which the internationally recognised current government was formed.

      The quid pro would be some investment in the port and city infrastructure and reconstruction of their city. I can imagine the people of the city would be delighted to see EU money invested there and a lot cheaper than running a constant blockade of ships and accommodating hundreds of thousands of migrants.

  10. Peter Parsons
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Which part of “no pre-negotiations” is not clear?

    The EU27 have clearly stated that this is a matter for after Article 50 is triggered and not before because it is something to be agreed as part of the UK’s exit from the EU. Article 50 has not yet been triggered.

    Meanwhile the UK government wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money fighting court cases arising out of their own incompetence in drawing up legislation and attempting to avoid any scrutiny of what they are up to, and the public don’t find out until after it is debated in parliament that the government’s official position is that, to quote directly from Section 2.1 of the White Paper, “Parliament has remained sovereign throughout our membership of the EU”.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Technically it is true that the sovereignty of Parliament has remained intact and undiminished, so far, but it has not been exercised in many areas. Of course like a muscle which is not exercised it would eventually atrophy.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted February 6, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        Any failure to exercise must lie solely with those responsible for not doing so, namely the politicians in Westminster. If Parliament has atrophied, it is Parliament’s fault alone.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 6, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          Absolutely right.

    • Lamia
      Posted February 6, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      “Meanwhile the UK government wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money fighting court cases arising out of their own incompetence in drawing up legislation”

      It wasn’t the current government which drew up the legislation in question, it was that of Euro-fanatic Edward Heath. The legislation was not drawn up properly because Heath and co could not countenance the UK every leaving the EEC/EU.

      “quote directly from Section 2.1 of the White Paper, “Parliament has remained sovereign throughout our membership of the EU”.”

      It has been sovereign only the sense of being able to leave the EU. It has ceded vast areas of sovereignty such as trade, investment, farming, fisheries, environment and energy, with the result that successive Parliaments have had to abide by ‘superior’ EU laws imposed on the country.

      Heath was warned about this many decades ago: that eventually British ‘sovereignty’ would shrink to nothing more than the basic right to leave the EU, a right that, it was anticipated, would over time become harder and harder to exercise anyway. This has been borne out by the way the common pre-referendum Remainer claim that the EU does not interfere much in our laws and everyday life, to the post-referendum one: that we are so intricately bound into the EU at every level that it is simply too complicated and difficult to leave. By this desperate tactic, the remainers are finally admitting that they have been lying all along.

      If another country or institution is imposing laws on the everyday life of a country, then that country is not in any practical sense fully ‘sovereign’.

  11. The Maltese klaxon
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    There was something faintly pathetic ,mildly funny seeing EU nation state leaders all on a small fishing boat off the Maltese coast. One for the TV documentary makers in a couple of decades: with a fanfare of:” How many of them were aware even then they would need to abandon ship? ”
    Then each Head brought into focus in turn telling their nations own particular story and when they took the plunge.
    My bet is the Head of Germany and a couple of tiddler nations will stick it out until finally East Germany and Austria rediscover their flags.

  12. Mel Davies
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    What you say in your first paragraph appears to be untrue. I attended a forum hosted by Ed Vaizy last night. Many EU nationals working at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and at teh Culham Cenre for Fusion Energy spoke about their lack of credentials to stay in the UK. For instance the wife of a worker who has been a homemaker in the UK for many years. She thinks that under current proposals she cannot stay in the UK even though her children are UK citizens. Has she to leave her working husband and her children?

    • Andy
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Your ‘beef’ is with Merkel et all who have refused to settle this matter. Mrs May has said all EU citizens legally here would be able to remain after we leave so long as there was reciprocity. I fail to see what is wrong with that position.

    • zorro
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Even in a worst case scenario, the situation would not be worse than for a foreign national working in the UK with a wife and UK born children. She can stay – needless fearmongering.


  13. Bert Young
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Yesterday I commented that trying to deal with a government in Libya was laughable – based largely on the views expressed by John today . The shambles of the EUs’ efforts to put its house in order were in evidence yesterday ; it is just not possible to put 27 hats in the ring and expect one size to fit all to emerge . Maltas PM is in a tricky position ; whatever he says on behalf of the EU will reflect on the tourist business it hopes to attract .

    • Know-Dice
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      That’s just not right or fair.

      I say Mrs May should just take the moral high ground and say EU citizens that have been living here prior to the referendum last June will be entitled to stay, those that have come here after that date will be considered on a case by case basis.

      If at some stage in the Article 50 negotiations the EU decides not to reciprocate then on their heads be it.

  14. forthurst
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    It was of course the conservative party which engineered the situation whereby Libya became the jumping off point for the mass exodus of Africans into Europe; as is well known there are conspirators who desire to flood Europe with non-Europeans. That such people, lead by CMD, were not pressing for the removal of Gaddaffi because he was providing the service which the Heads of Government in Malta, now pretend they want, is not credible. CMD’s co-conspirator was of course Sarkozy who is on YouTube extolling such a policy outcome.

  15. English Pensioner
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Why would the EU countries wish to throw out British residents other that from pure B****mindedness? I doubt whether many are sponging on the state, and indeed most are contributing to the local economy by either working or spending their pensions. The EU seems busy trying “to cut off its nose to spite its face” (as my mum would have said) in order to get “revenge” for Brexit.

  16. Richard1
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    One thing I don’t understand about the public position of our govt – this ‘more in sorrow than in anger we will have to cut taxes and be like Singapore if you don’t give us a good deal….etc’. What’s not to like about Singapore? Tax / GDP < 20%, a balanced budget, better public services and now a higher standard of living than the U.K. Let's pursue a Singapore model, deal with the EU or no deal!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Exactly we should be cutting taxes anyway, the stronger U.K. Economy would certainly result would be good for the EU anyway. Alas we have lefty, over tax, over borrow and over regulate, ex(?) remainers May and Hammond using the same broken compass and even with their expensive religious energy agenda.

    • Original Richard
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t the rate of corporation tax in the EU countries of Ireland and Luxembourg well below our rate ?

      So why is Mrs.Merkel complaining about us cutting our rates ?

    • libertarian
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink


      Absolutely.. It mystifies me that we never ever seem to learn from more successful systems in all their forms around the world

    • getahead
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      I believe, to be like Singapore, in order to allow us to pursue our own economic strategy, no deal with the EU might be better.

      But like Britain, has not Singapore not got a huge national debt? We really need to start making money and start paying ours off. In my opinion.

  17. Mark
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    It is surely well established that few of those who board boats in Libya to come to the EU are Libyans. Rather, they are Eritreans, Somalis, Nigerians, etc. – even though many claim to be Syrian when they patently are not. It might help if those rescued were returned as far as possible to their true countries of origin so as to spread the message that a trek across the Sahara is a waste of effort and not worth it. More effort is needed in this direction.

    The latest Frontex report is unfortunately only for Q2 2016, but it does show a sharp reduction in migrants flows which almost reached 1 million in Q4 2015 – now down to 75,000. The Turkish agreement does seem to have substantially reduced flows from that direction. Syrian numbers are down very sharply. A recent Frontex press release implies a further 143,000 illegal migrants came in during the second half of 2016, consistent with the rate in Q2.

    An important part of the story seems to be the new border fences (some of them internal to the Schengen area – e.g. the “green border” between Austria and Germany) that make it more difficult for migrants to reach their chosen nirvana.

  18. forthurst
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Rather than NATO being used against us by deliberately destabilising countries through unprovoked agression, thereby unlocking torrents of ‘migrants’, should not NATO’s purpose now be, as it always purported to be, to defend Europe from invasion. It is inconceivable that NATO would not be able to block off the influx of unassimilables that are forming no-go areas all over Europe.

  19. formula57
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Libya is used as a transit country for economic migrants from its vast hinterland of much of the rest of Africa. The flow is not going to stop whilst the EU facilitates entry even to the point of using various of its members’ naval forces to assist passage. The Malta declaration is therefore just window-dressing.

    As for British nationals resident now in other EU countries, I would welcome its been made clear that the UK would regard any moves against them as a hostile act with an immediate consequence that NATO obligations or not, the UK will never lend any assistance to such guilty countries. Can this government suppose the public would accept British troops fighting for the sake of those who harm fellow citizens? Even our correspondence-challenged Defence Secretary ought not need to be told the answer.

  20. Mark B
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon.

    And let us hope this post makes it up, unlike yesterdays.

    Ignoring the elephant in the room, which seems to be an embarrassment to some, and making sure that it never happens again is the priority.

    Parliament has too much power over certain matters and, when it comes to war, waging war on another nation that has not threatened or attacked us is not only wrong, but illegal.

    Slightly off topic.

    I understand that Chancellor Merkel is floating the idea of a, Two speed Europe (EU). I guess someone has done the sums in the Bundesbank and shown the Chancellor the likely costs to Germany of losing the UK. Wow, I bet she wished she gave CMD a few more measly crumbs from the Giants (EU) table now.

    With the first real hurdle of Art.50 over, Gert Vilders polling well in the Netherlands (how’s that looking for you PvL ?), I think the German’s and the EU are finally realising that there has been a paradigm shift over the last 6-12 months. 🙂

    It is funny. The people are slowly waking up to what is going on and now we are fighting back.

  21. fedupsoutherner
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Off topic

    I am fed up listening to other nations national anthems. Scotland, NI, Wales, France etc all have their own anthems but what have we got? God Save the Queen. While there is nothing wrong with this (a tad boring maybe) this is the anthem played for the GB when we take part in international games. It is not an ENGLISH only anthem. I want an English anthem which we don’t share with others.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Yes but singing GStQ it really irritates the Scots.

  22. Original Richard
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    “It is difficult to believe this statement will work to stop the flow. It is also difficult to see how it squares with the EU vision of itself as a home to welcome migrants as outlined by Mrs Merkel last year.”

    You are correct, Mr. Redwood.

    It appears that Mrs. Merkel wishes the illegal immigration to continue unabated. It looks like only the German electorate can put a stop to this madness without the need for the situation first to become so bad that it brings social unrest.

    Fortunately we are leaving the EU.

    Some remainers argue that the EU referendum result was inconclusive because leavers did not know the final “destination” (as the remainers put it) for which they were voting.

    What these remainers do not understand is that when you want to leave a burning building or a sinking ship the “final destination” is immaterial. All you want to do is just leave.

  23. rose
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    The Australians gave very clear advice and an example on what to do about illegal immigration. Instead of taking the advice, we indulged ourselves in an orgy of criticism – as we are now doing with Trump. Nigel Farage reiterated this Australian advice to the EU but as usual they were too stupid to listen. When they finally admit it was correct, it will be too late to take it.

  24. British Spy
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Must HM The Queen receive the President of America, Leader of the Free World, in London?

    I hear people in London with foreign names, foreign visages and foreign accents cheerleading demonstrations in London and being interviewed on TV saying “WE should not roll out the red carpet for Donald Trump” “WE should not invite him to OUR country”

    They are right! They should not invite him their London. In Yorkshire however, he is most welcome,better welcome,very welcome. WE are Britannia!
    HM The Queen should receive him here as WE are The British.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Bring it on British Spy. How dare these people many of whom are not British nationals be allowed to speak for us. Trump is welcome especially as he may be good for trade and a peaceful relationship. Some people may not like it but we are close allies with the US and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  25. Iain Moore
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    The UN Convention of refugees is unworkable , it acts as a carrot for migrants to try their luck , knowing once they get into Europe the likelihood of them ever getting deported is remote. The political classes know its unworkable, the numbers of people who could claim asylum are truly vast, but rather then being honest about it, our politicians signal their virtue, whilst dishonestly trying to stem the flood by ineffectual tricks and wheezes.

    We need to withdraw from the UN Convention on Refugees, at least then we would be honest, no longer dangling a carrot in front of desperate people, and enticingthese desperate people to try their luck. The question is what is more important virtue signalling in their political correct dinner parties or honesty?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      You can’t say that, your comment gets vaporised.

    • rose
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Matthew Parris is the only member of the fashionable classes who has said several times we need to withdraw from the Geneve Convention. See back numbers of the Spectator. Only a Trump among politicians would have the courage to do this. Look at the House of Commons and the House of Lords any day: with the exception of the knowledgeable and experienced Lord Green, they are competing with each other across the Houses to show off their thoughtless compassion. No concern for the interests of their country or future generations; no concern for the environment. The viritue competition is paramount and the PM and Home Secretary are among the worst offenders. Perhaps it is the perverse legacy of the religion they won’t protect.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      I disagree. the UN Convention is clear about who is entitled to asylum, places restrictions and obligations on asylum seekers, and empowers host countries to deport both asylum seekers and refugees who commit serious crimes. Above all it clearly states the purpose of asylum is temporary shelter so that refugees may be returned to their homes as soon as feasible, because that is their rightful place. However, it leaves much to the discretion of the host countries. The defects you cite come from the actions of individual countries and the EU.

      • rose
        Posted February 6, 2017 at 12:22 am | Permalink

        And there is the Dublin rule that asylum seekers must seek asylum in the first safe country they come to. That is where we and the USA have been most weak.

        David Cameron had a good policy here: it was that people should be kept as near to home as possible and fed, clothed, and the children educated. That way they were more likely to return home. If people were to be brought here, then they were to be taken from the camps in the Near East, not Calais or Greece, and carefully screened first.

        Amber Rudd and Theresa May have eroded that policy by allowing the House of Lords to get above itself and then showing off their own virtue.

  26. Peter D Gardner
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    The EU is not aiming to solve the migrant problem. It aims only to make it go away so it can attend to the other problems it faces, namely the increasing threats to its existence at home. That is what it is paying Libya to do. Similarly, it has bribed Turkey – or submitted willingly to blackmail – to trade migrants across the border. The EU has no moral compass. It is concerned only with its own ascent to challenge American power, justifying its policies and actions solely by the extent to which they further that aim. That is the only compass the EU has.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      I should add, the idea of a country as dysfunctional as Libya fulfilling any obligations to complete such a difficult task is absurd. And the EU knows it.

  27. Peter D Gardner
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    JohnRedwood is far too polite to state baldly the truth of the laziness of MPs with regard to the passage of EU law into British law. The truth is that many fear accountability to constituents. We hear much from them of Macauley’s dictum from a bygone age when few had the vote to justify their opposition to their own constituents. Macauley exhorted them to act in the interest of the wider community instead of the few who had a vote. Nowadays, quoting this passage serves to hide their placing their own interests above those of both their constituents and the country.
    Brexit means returning to a time whether people we elect to govern our country actually have that responsibility and must account for their actions to those same voters. It is truly frightening to those who prefer to hide behind the cloak of EU opaqueness. Very convenient to have some blob of identifiable individuals to blame. We know they exist but we cannot identify them, we know they are not accountable to us, we cannot touch them, they rule supreme, unseen yet known through their dead hand of oppression.

    • Chris S
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      What happened to this week’s new rules ?

      No less than Four comments from a single person in one thread ????

  • About John Redwood

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

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