Kirkhope: enforce the rules on Europe's borders before demanding more shared sovereignty

EU countries should offer help to those countries facing major migratory flows, but it should also enforce the rules already in place before proposing more sovereignty be pooled under the border guard proposal being published today.

Timothy Kirkhope MEP, European Conservatives and Reformists home affairs spokesman, said that countries facing major pressures should ask for help, and other countries should seek to provide resources through the EU's border agency Frontex. However he warned that countries that cannot cope - but also fail to ask for help - should no longer be allowed to continue waving people through to the rest of the EU without consequence.

Speaking in the European Parliament this afternoon, as MEPs were given the details of the new border force plan, Mr Kirkhope said:

"There are countries in the EU that are unable to protect their border. They need to ask for help. At the moment, some are failing to do so and the implications of this are being felt across the entire European Union.

"These countries cannot continue to ignore offers of help whilst at the same time waving through refugees and migrants to other countries. Therefore, we do need a Frontex agency capable of helping those countries in need. That agency should have resources pooled voluntarily from the Member States that can be deployed to assist. 

"If a country is failing to control its border, and refusing to ask for help, then we should offer them a choice: take the help, or the rest of the EU will be within its rights to take action in the protection of the EU's internal borders.

"My message to the Commission is this: The EU has rules. Too often we see countries flouting the rules with little consequence. The answer from the commission is often more sovereignty being handed over. But why don't you enforce the rules we have already?

"Helping countries to protect their external borders I can support. But if a country cannot cope, and will not ask for help, they should face the consequences.

"As Alexander Pope said, "Only fools rush in where angels fear to tread". Before creating more compulsion and more sovereignty sharing, we must have the courage to enforce what we already have in an effective and meaningful way.

"No one measure is going to solve this crisis; and whilst I welcome proposals to address the challenges we face at the borders, this mustn't be allowed to become another piece of legislation, much like the emergency relocation mechanism, which was welcomed with fanfares, but where in reality the effects have been more like a whisper."