For fifteen years now I have believed that the folly of the Euro currency would break up the European Union. It was perfectly obvious to me that economic and monetary union between Greece and Germany could never work and that political union was an impossibility.
But now I see a mistake even greater than the Euro folly: the EU’s Common Asylum Policy.
The divisions between North and South are growing wider by the day. As I’ve said before, European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker’s policy is that anyone that comes across the Mediterranean can register for asylum.
And that indeed is what is now happening, as the numbers that arrive dwarf all estimates and begin to head towards a potential exodus of biblical proportions.
Just look at the scenes in Kos this week. Migrant arrivals in Greece this year are at over 124,000, an increase year on year of 750 per cent for the same period. And there is no sign that these numbers will begin to slow.
The scenes of near riots we have witnessed this week are of people desperate to register. But what then?
Mr. Juncker thinks that under burden-sharing, the countries of the North of Europe will be happy to share the load. He seems astonished that the Northern countries now don’t want to play ball. But frankly that doesn’t matter in the EU; because of the Schengen Agreement there is nothing to stop people heading towards the richer North.
Indeed given Greece’s current financial plight, who can blame them for wanting to see these people leave their already impoverished country?
And so the Northern inwards migration continues, with the scenes at Calais no more than a symptom of a wider problem.
Thank goodness the United Kingdom did not join Schengen and is opted-out of the Common EU Asylum Policy. Despite those moves, businesses and people in Kent and elsewhere in the UK are already paying a heavy price for Juncker’s error.
But just think of the situation in Germany today. There is absolutely nothing to stop very large numbers of people going to that country, with 175,000 asylum seekers entering Germany last year.
What does the German government do? Does it send people back to Greece? Does it end people back to Libya? The answer is it does nothing.
And if you think the political temperature in the UK is very hot on the immigration issue, that is nothing compared to the feeling now growing in France, the Netherlands, Sweden and indeed even in Germany itself.
The rise of political parties opposed to the EU’s asylum policy and to Schengen can only continue.
The worst dimension of all, as I said in the European Parliament in the spring of this year and as was repeated by the Greek Defence Minister, is the even bigger threat than just numbers. It is the threat of Isis using this human tide as a means of placing their own extremists at the heart of every European capital.
Let us hope that I am wrong. But if there is just one terrorist atrocity caused by somebody who recently travelled through Kos, or Lampedusa, watch this space.
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Anti-Corbyn Labour rhetoric has now hit levels of hysteria. All of the great and the good are saying what a catastrophe Mr. Corbyn may be. It reminds me of my own press in the run up to the European Elections.
The effect of all of that was that we still came first, as will Mr. Corbyn. And whilst I have absolutely no faith in the wisdom of his economics, his victory is seriously good news for the ‘No’ campaign in the forthcoming EU referendum.
Under Corbyn, there will be a debate about TTIP, about the way Greece has been treated, and about the role of national parliaments and democracy.
I have no idea which side of the fence Mr. Corbyn himself will come down on, but I feel the Left is finally waking up to what a corporatist, big business club the EU really is.
I have to say I hope he wins. The best news of all? A Corbyn win will be the death of the Green Party. Hooray.