Speaking on Migration in Strasbourg this week



President, Minister, Commissioner,


My message is a simple one, in a very complex situation.

Rules must be applied and implemented and those rules must be the priority.

Current systems have been paralysed through inaction, unwillingness and ad hoc decision making.

It is time for the EU to show our voters and those seeking to come to the EU that ours is a fair but firm system.

But we can only gain control if we start applying the rules and the basic principles we have long advocated.

If we look for magic solutions which then take years to implement, the situation will only further spiral out of our control.

We must fingerprint all those arriving. This cannot be optional as it appears at the moment; but a compulsory requirement for any seeking a future stay in Europe.

Members must come together to guard external borders. If a member state cannot, or is unwilling to do this, then is must accept help from FRONTEX.

Then, we must return those who do not qualify for asylum. We must remove the administrative and practical obstacles which currently produce a pitifully low rate of returns.

Member states need to stop pushing off the problem and understand that their contributions as well as assets are needed.

Dublin must maintain its core principles, and relocation should be the second stage process.

If countries cannot control the external border or its international border or provide humane facilities and decent treatment; then participation in Schengen must be reviewed.

I believe that we have most of the tools we need; all we need now is for them to be used and enforced with courage and determination.