MEP Atkinson: “As Churchill said to de Gaulle: ‘Know this, every time when we have to choose between Europe and the open sea, we will always choose the open sea’. It is now clear our government has chosen Europe over our security, as Britain sacrifices its borders to symbolically ‘aid’ the Med?”
15th April 2016
From the Office of Janice Atkinson Independent MEP for South East England
Contact: 07889 927430
Janice Atkinson, Independent MEP, is demanding to know why Britain has sent two Border Force vessels (of five total) to the Aegean Sea when the combined Italian, French and Greek coast guards have more than 750 boats already present.
The result is that Britain’s coasts are patrolled by just 60% of their usual manpower – the same amount as the Netherlands, with a coast 10% the size of the UK’s. Given the blocking of the Channel Tunnel, this could make our North Sea coast vulnerable to migrants and jihadis desperate to reach our shores.
Janice said: “It makes no difference to add two British vessels to this number, it’s a symbolic gesture.
“The UK might not have to deal with the numbers of migrants that Mediterranean countries are dealing with, but to have only 3 patrol boats with such a stretched coastline is absurd. In comparison, the French Atlantic coast alone has 14 boats.
“The UK should invest in border control, rather than sending our boats to Turkey. It is not the UK´s responsibility to protect the Mediterranean, especially not as the UK cannot even properly protect its own borders and coasts.
“France, Greece and Italy, despite nearly a decade of recession, acknowledge the state’s responsibility to secure its borders. The UK on the other hand is cutting security spending.
“One effect of this is that on Wednesday night, Iranian migrants were found aboard a light craft in the English channel, rescued by Dover RNLI. This is happening night after night. More will be coming in the warmer months, these people didn’t die because it was a warm night.
“We have children as young as six being sent by their parents to claim asylum in Britain. We take kindly to them and then lo and behold, once they’ve got to our shores, their parents reclaim them.
“We may not be in Schengen. But Europe’s open borders, together with the message that goes out from the EU, is that all migrants are refugees in need of help, and so they come, and they will not stop.
“The UK was once the most powerful maritime nation in the world. That made us successful, enabling us to stay secure. What is left of this notion now?
“Even Libya has 15 coastal boats.
“As Churchill said to de Gaulle: ‘Know this, every time when we have to choose between Europe and the open sea, we will always choose the open sea’. It is clear, our government has chosen Europe over our security.”