Ed Miliband’s claims that Labour will be tough on immigration fell flat yesterday when his Euro MPs supported measures that would wreck Britain’s power to control its own borders.
MEPs in Strasbourg voted in favour of a binding quota system to distribute asylum seekers among all EU countries, resulting in their critics saying the party “says one thing then does another” on immigration.
The vote came only days after the Labour leader pledged to strengthen UK borders and restore the principle of contribution within the first 100 days of a Labour government.
“We will deal with people’s concerns because we have listened, we have learned and we have changed,” Ed Miliband said.
Should this become law, it would mean Britain becomes obliged to take as many refugees rescued from the Mediterranean as the EU decrees. Currently the Dublin Agreement says that asylum applications must be dealt with in the EU country where the refugee lands. However, with the Schengen guarantee of free movement, it has resulted in asylum seekers leaving safe countries such as Italy or Greece and travelling north to more prosperous countries – and of course the thousands camped in Calais trying to get to the UK.
The only British Liberal Democrat in the European Parliament, Catherine Bearder, voted with Labour to give Brussels more control over UK immigration policy.
It led to the Conservatives saying Labour was duplicitous on migration.
Timothy Kirkhope, Conservative spokesman on justice and home affairs in the European Parliament, said: “Labour talk tough at home then do the dirty over here.
“April 18: the man who would be their prime minister stands up on Merseyside and tries to portray Labour as tough on immigration, despite their track record. April 29: his MEPs put their hands up in Strasbourg to hand more power to Europe over how many migrants are sent to Britain.
“At least the Lib Dems make no secret of their feebleness. They are proud to hand control of our borders to Brussels.”
UKIP immigration spokesman Steven Woolfe told Breitbart London, it was “more hypocrisy” from Labour on immigration, adding, “this is to be expected from the party which sent out search parties for more migrants to the UK.
“Labour MEPs now vote for common EU asylum policy in Brussels as Miliband lets on to talk tough in London – nobody is fooled.”