Home Secretary Theresa May has again blasted European Union plans to force the redistribution of migrants around the EU, saying economic migrants who aren’t escaping conflict should be sent back home.
Her comments come only a day after a Home Office spokesman said the UK “will not participate in any legislation imposing a mandatory system of resettlement of relocation”, this despite the EU attempting to use emergency powers to push the move through against the wishes of member states.
In an article published by The Times, Mrs. May has now said: “We must – and will – resist calls for the mandatory relocation or resettlement of migrants across Europe.
“Such an approach would only strengthen the incentives for criminal gangs to keep plying their evil trade – and reduce the incentive of member states to develop their own effective asylum regimes.”
Mrs. May said by preventing economic migrants from staying, it would remove the incentive for many to come, and put the people traffickers who put the lives of thousands in jeopardy, out of business. Speaking to Sky, she said: “What we see is that a lot of people coming are economic migrants, but they are paying criminal gangs to transport them across Africa.
“These criminals are then putting them into vessels which they know very often are not seaworthy, where people’s lives are being put at risk.
“It’s important that the criminals aren’t able simply to say to people: ‘If you pay us money, we are going to put your lives at risk but don’t worry, you’ll get to Europe’.
“And that’s why it’s important that people picked up in the Mediterranean can be taken back to Africa.”