Controlling our borders

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John Redwood’s latest blog discusses how the UK can secure its borders

Deciding who can become a citizen of a country and who cannot, and deciding who is welcome as a visitor and who is not, is fundamental to that country’s sovereignty. Most UK voters wish to live in a democratic country where the government they elect and influence decides the policy on migration, asylum seeking and visitors, and enforces it at the borders.

In an age of mass migration on a large scale across and between continents, the UK has a great geographical strength from being one main island and one shared island off the north west coast of mainland Europe. This makes controlling our borders so much easier. Remaining out of the Schengen common frontiers arrangements made sense and reinforces this natural advantage we have.

The UK needs to agree with its partners in the EU that the opt out we enjoy from the Schengen arrangements extends sufficiently to allow us to make our own decisions about all matters relating to visitors and citizenship. If we cannot control our borders inside the EU then it is another good reason why we should leave. The UK should immediately take action to ensure

1. People coming to the UK illegally as economic migrants are returned to their country of origin on arrival.
2. Airlines and ferries should not accept passengers to the UK from safe countries without proper documentation for legal entry.
3. People seeking asylum who come from countries where people’s lives are at risk should be treated with respect and their cases examined fairly. If they are at personal risk of harm they should be granted asylum. If they are judged not to be they should be assisted to leave the country.
There is everything to be gained by speeding up consideration of asylum applications. If the person is a genuine case they need to given entry as soon as possible and allowed to settle and work here. If they have lied, committed crimes to get here, have come from a safe country and are making a false claim they should be asked to leave promptly. We should not be putting people in camps for long periods, or delaying in sorting out their futures.

Click here to read this piece in John Redwood’s Diary.

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