What a change a few months make. Earlier this year Angela Merkel, the Puppet-Master of Europe, took the unprecedented step of suspending the Dublin II accord by welcoming an unlimited number of Syrians to Germany.
Several months later and under intense pressure from both home and abroad, the German Chancellor has now driven the European Union (EU) to conclude a highly unfavourable deal with Turkey. Mrs. Merkel clearly and misguidedly hoped this would solve a crisis she has contributed towards.
Now the EU has provisionally agreed to provide Turkey with €3 billion+ to supposedly spend on ‘stemming the migrant flow’ along with an easing of visa restrictions and a promise of accelerating talks about Turkey’s accession to the EU.
With such basic lack of judgement, the EU has now conceded it is powerless to stem the tide of migrants and refugees on its own, and has opted to open Europe’s doors to 75 million Turks. It seems the EU is now simply attempting a huge case of damage limitation.
Turkey is the main route for migrants into the continent, and is currently home to more than two million Syrian migrants, most of whom do not want to stay in Turkey.
This deal is essentially a short term sticking plaster aimed at reducing the pressure on EU countries currently inundated with migrants.
Yet it is a deal which won’t work, and which will have serious long term consequences – primarily the accession of Turkey to the EU.
Through its desperate attempts to try and sort out the migrant crisis, the EU has shoved all its cards into the hands of the autocratic President Erdogan. Not content with the assistance EU leaders provided in his recent election victory, enabling him to secure greater powers at the expense of Turkish democracy, Erdogan now demands an acceleration of Turkey’s membership application.
Previous concerns have been raised about the growing authoritarianism of the President most notably the arrest of hostile journalists and fierce crackdowns on protesters. However these concerns now seem to have suddenly evaporated with this deal – proving that for all its moral pretensions the EU is as driven by realpolitik as any nation state.
This deal with Turkey will not solve the migrant crisis – indeed it will merely intensify it. First and foremost it will grant Turkey’s 75 million citizens access to the crumbling Schengen zone. How Eastern European nations – which have already fiercely opposed the entry of around a million migrants so far – will welcome this development is highly predictable.
Concerns about the movement of Islamic extremists will also intensify. Considering the current inability of the EU to control migration, further expansion of its borders to nations such as Syria, Iraq and Iran should be seen as tantamount to insanity. The large number of ISIS militants crossing the Turkish border in either direction hardly suggests Turkish border forces are superior to their EU counterparts.
Turkey under Erdogan has worryingly been drifting away from its secular traditions in favour of a more Islamic state. Polls suggest sympathy for ISIS amongst sections of the Turkish population. This hardly suggests Turkey’s accession will reduce the threat from Islamic extremism. Attempts to curb or vet Turkish migrants, many of whom will not speak any European language, will simply result in Erdogan tearing up any existing deal and resuming his current efforts to hurry migrants across Turkish borders and into Europe.
EU leaders have clearly underestimated the power they have ceded to Erdogan, and the only thing we can be assured of is that he will abuse it.
The EU has constantly stressed the need for solidarity when dealing with the migrant crisis. However, it has clearly failed to recognise the act of one single European leader has significantly exacerbated this crisis. Disregarding what Britain was already proposing, Angela Merkel on her own decided to welcome Syrian migrants and refugees at least in part due to the demographic problems Germany faces with an aging population. She decided on this, without consulting any other political leader. So, judging by the laws of politics, the consequences are on her head alone.
With this new deal, the EU has now decided the negative repercussions should be shared between all the EU Member States, Britain included.
However sympathetic we already are, Britain should be completely exempt from both this EU migrant relocation process and this financial bribe which they are hoping will convince Turkey to co-operate. The EU is merely catching up on the policy we have been advocating for months. Britain has already been contributing more than any other EU nation to help genuine Syrian refugees in camps around Syria (including those in Turkey).
The fact we will now be forced to contribute further financial resources to help rectify the mistakes of the German Chancellor tells you everything you need to know about the UK’s relationship and status within the EU.
The deal the other EU leaders have made with Turkey will not solve the migrant crisis. It will result in the accession of a new and huge Member State in its march towards a federal superstate. And frighteningly, a new addition, which is becoming increasingly volatile and undemocratic.
Such a development will simply speed up the collapse of the EU, and the collateral damage this will cause. The UK needs to protect itself from the chaos EU leaders are bringing upon themselves and the only way to do that is to vote to Get Britain Out of the EU.