Today I spoke with BBC Five Live on the illegal migrant issue (29/7/2015)
We need a European solution to address the problem of illegal migrants entering the United Kingdom from Calais which has caused massive disruption to the lives of the people of South East England.
The government needs to take ownership of the problem of illegal migrants, by accepting that the Dublin Regulation is not fit for purpose. We need to redraft the laws at a European and national level to compel source countries to receive and retain its citizens when they have been legally repatriated from EU member states.
It is my view that we need to support the planned increase in the overseas aid budget that the Department for International Development (Dfid) manages. I believe that it is time however that the British taxpayer should see real value and return in the overseas aid budget, with investment and projects targeted by our government, that will aim to tackle large flows of its population leaving. Source government’s must be helped to grow and manage their own economies in order to reduce the need for people to migrate to Europe.
The Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart has issued a warning in Paris at a meeting with the French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve that “I could take the decision to block the port (Calais). I could bring pressure to bear.”
She said that the migrants were costing too much and making life unpleasant.
Richard Ashworth Conservative MEP for Dover said:
“If Calais was a UK town we would be indignant at the situation, but blocking the port and the Channel crossing I don’t believe is the right way to find a solution to the problem.”
“There is much much more that could be, and should be done to stop that flow of illegal migrants.”
“Ultimately the solution is in the source countries where the migrants are coming from, and these governments must fulfil their international responsibilities to prevent this illegal trafficking. Frontex the European Agency established to combat illegal immigration into the EU must do more. The EU governments must do more to catch the criminal gangs who are exploiting and making money out of these people.”
“We need to do far more to intercept vehicles and freight coming into this country. We are after all an island, and we need to bolster security in Dover. We need to invest much more into the UK Border Agency, I give credit to the haulage and freight companies in the UK for investing in new technology, but we need to adopt new technology at ports to intercept illegal immigrants.”