• Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) Group in the European Parliament - @Nigel_Farage
• Debate: Preparation of the European Council meeting of 17 and 18 March 2016 and outcome of the EU-Turkey summit Council and Commission statements [2016/2502(RSP)]
The historic error made by Chancellor Merkel last year by saying all can come has led directly to this mess and now we are being blackmailed by Turkey. First they came for three billion, in a promise to reduce the numbers coming into Greece and the rest of Europe but when the numbers increased many fold they came back for another three billion and they will come on coming back for more and more and more. As the British poet Rudyard Kipling observed of the Danish incursions into England, ‘and that is called paying the Danegeld and we’ve proved it again and again that if once you have paid in the Danegeld you will never get rid of the Dane.”
Now you have us over a barrel, this new deal where for every one illegal migrant we send back, if our human rights laws allow it, they’ll send us another one from Syria. So the argument is we’ve paid them a fortune not to reduce numbers and yet we’ve given in and said visa free access for 75 million Turks from June of this year.
In theory they can stay for 90 days, in practice many will disappear or of course claim family reunion, the numbers will go sharply, sharply up. And in return for all of this we are now going to fast track Turkey as a full member of the European Union. My goodness me, I wish that David Cameron was as good at negotiations as the Turks are.
So we are going to go into political union with a country that has got borders with Iraq, Iran and Syria. We are going to going to go into political union with a country that is poorer than anybody else in the European Union and give free movement to 75 million people. And join up with a government that is increasingly islamist and authoritarian.
The Turkish Prime Minister said that this week ‘Turkish membership will be a turning point’. Too right. The British Prime Minister has long supported Turkey being a member of this union, in fact he has fought hard over ten years for them to join. He doesn’t bat an eyelid at the extra 500 million pounds we will stump up to help fund this crisis. Well this referendum in Britain is all about what is the safest option and given that the boss of Europol says already that there are 3-5,000 islamist terrorists that have come into Europe using the migrant routes it is pretty clear to me that a vote to remain is a vote for Turkey, a vote to remain is a vote for massively increased immigration into Britain and a vote to remain is a vote that makes Britain more vulnerable to terrorism. It is safer to vote to leave and take back control of our borders.