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 onto other countries. Therefore, we certainly need a Frontex agency capable of helping those countries in need. That agency should have resources pooled voluntarily from the Member States so it can be deployed to assist.
"If a country is failing to control its borders, 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 to demand more sovereignty is handed over. But why don't they enforce the rules we have already?
"Protecting 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 evermore compulsion and more sovereignty sharing, we must have the courage to enforce what we already have in an effective and meaningful way."
The ECR was created to take the EU in a new direction, according to the principles of our founding Prague Declaration.