Hammond: Europe ‘can’t protect itself’ with migrant influx

Hammond: Europe ‘can’t protect itself’ with migrant influx

Introduction — August 10, 2015
http://www.politico.eu/article/hammond-europe-cant-protect-itself-with-migrant-influx/

Margaret Thatcher warned thirty years ago that Britain “had too many immigrants“. In fact she caused outrage in the Conservative Party when she voiced her concern over rising immigration.

Strangely enough though, she didn’t do anything about it. The figures remained at much the same level they had been before she voiced her “concern”. Leading one to wonder if her “concern” wasn’t a calculated ploy to gain votes.

It certainly resonated with many voters who for decades have been concerned over rising immigration into what is an already overcrowded island.

Call me a cynic but I suspect Thatcher’s publicly voiced sentiments were no more than a political ploy that she had no intention of acting upon. It’s worth recalling this in the light of warnings by British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond that waves of illegal migrants threaten Europe’s living standards and social fabric.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has echoed his foreign secretary’s disquiet but one can’t help wondering if these latest comments aren’t just another cynical vote catching ploy like Thatchers’. After all, the British government has been instrumental in creating the current instability in the Middle East with its assistance in helping to oust Syria’s Assad and its role in the overthrow Libya’s Gadhafi.

Since Gadhafi’s ousting Syria has seen an exodus of several million refugees while strife torn Libya has become a launching point for many trying to cross the Mediterranean. So in a sense David Cameron has helped create this problem as the chickens are now coming home to roost.

Hammond: Europe ‘can’t protect itself’ with migrant influx

Jules Johnston — Politico August 10, 2015

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond speaks during a press conference. Click to enlarge
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond speaks during a press conference. Click to enlarge
The European Union cannot “absorb millions of migrants from Africa” who are threatening living standards of citizens, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Sunday.

Speaking during a visit to Singapore, Hammond told the BBC that Britain’s “No. 1 priority” was to find a way to make it easier to send hopeful asylum seekers back to their countries of origin. This echos a growing trend in Europe, with Greece calling for help with the number of migrants fleeing instability in the Middle East and Africa.

“So long as the European Union’s laws are the way they are, many of them will only have to set foot in Europe to be pretty confident that they will never be returned to their country of origin,” Hammond said.

“Now, that is not a sustainable situation because Europe can’t protect itself and preserve its standard of living and social infrastructure, if it has to absorb millions of migrants from Africa.” he said.

Despite a new, £7 million (€9.9 million) mile-long fence in Calais, France, paid for by the British government to prevent migrants crossing through the tunnel under the English Channel, “it is clear that there is more that can be done to enhance the physical security of the tunnel,” he added.

The foreign secretary warned there would always be millions of Africans with “the economic motivation” to live in Europe, and that current laws give migrants confidence they can stay once they reach the EU.

On Sunday, U.K. police arrested 18 suspected illegal migrants found hiding in the back of a truck.

The U.K. government is currently under pressure to show how it intends to deal with the crisis, yet Prime Minister David Cameron has been criticized for referring to migrants as “swarm of people coming across the Mediterranean, seeking a better life.”

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