Sunday, 22 May 2016

The United Kingdom and the EU - Terrorism and Borders

One of the areas most frequently discussed with me by those I meet has been that of terrorism and borders:

Those who want us to leave the EU are telling us that to leave the EU would be to make our nation a safer place.

Quoting figures from the European Union’s law enforcement agency (Europe) those favouring exit claim that Britain is more at risk from terrorist attacks if it continues as a member of the European Union. The reason for this centres largely on the freedom of movement that the EU apparently forces upon the UK - by admitting 'everyone' we apparently 'import risk' into our nation.

To support this position they claim that there are 'up to' 5,000 people in Europe who have attended training camps run by Islamic State and these people, already being in Europe, are free to travel from nation to nation without any border checks. They look to the Paris attacks to support this claim and point to photographs of one of those engaged in the awful happenings there which show they visited the UK.

If we left the EU and made our borders secure then, they reason, it would be impossible for terrorists to enter the country and that would make us safe from terrorism. Add to this the claim that leaving would free us from European law - and the setting us free from the European Court of Justice (ECJ)(remember them, the ECJ have stopped us deporting people to the US and other places because of perceived breaches of human rights) would mean that we could deport whosoever we wanted and govern ourselves make it increasingly difficult to deal effectively with that risk, in order to protect the public”.

It's the EU and the ECJ that cause us to accept everyone and costs us a fortune in monitoring these people once they are here posing a threat to our nationals and our towns and cities and even when we leave, they claim, the EU would be keen to work with us on policing and intelligence matters, after all  - and I quote Dominic Raab - UK Justice Minister here:
“We return more suspects under European Arrest Warrants than any other EU member state. We have the biggest DNA database in Europe. And we have the best intelligence networks. In law enforcement terms, we are massive net contributors to the EU.”

Obvious then, isn't it? The EU would be foolish not to want to keep us onside once we've left!

But what do those who want us to stay have to say about this self-same subject? Left's have a look:

Fist and foremost what we need to remember is that the UK is outside Europe’s passport-free Schengen area, which means that we have border controls and checks, and this means that those perceived to be a threat to our country can be refused entry. Those of you who have travelled to and from Europe will recall seeing British Police and Home Office types checking passports at ports (and probably complaining about the delay that causes).

So immediately we have an apparent problem in that those supporting the 'leave' position appear to not be telling it as it really is as we already have in place what they claim would only be ours if we were to exit the EU - Isn't that a little naughty I have task myself?

What makes it more difficult is the fact that those who might be coming to our shores are, in the main, not apparently 'naughty' foreigners but are EU nationals; after all looking at the awfulness that was Paris , the majority of those involved were EU citizens. (Salah Abdeslam, was a Belgian-born French citizen, Najim Laachraoui, was also Belgian citizen)

They weren't 'foreigners' unless you consider their roots - in which case I'm Dutch and ready to be deported!

In fact, dare I say it, the xenophobic, racist, anti-immigrant stance in nations like Belgium alienates and creates the backlash that is terrorism. Perhaps we need to stop the marches and popular wholesale responses against 'immigrant'  so that they aren't isolated and alienated. Perhaps we need some education of our nationals to create a society which is more balanced rather than build a wall around our little island!

Living on the edge of one of the largest places where potential for marginalised people are to be found, it is likely that those who might act against our nation and those on its shores will have British passports! The Charlie Hebdo attacks were done by Said and Cherif Kouachi - French citizens, as was Mohamed Merah, who in 2012 killed seven people in Toulouse.

So which camp do you fancy having read this?

As far as I am concerned, overall, the jury is still out, but I know who I think has won this round of the debate. I have read many articles and tried to distill as much information into a concise format - I don't think I've over-egged either camps views and think it to be a fair assessment. But you are the judge and are free to put your views here and dialogue (something I'm not seeing too much of as I am engaged with - am I the only one they talk to?)

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