The inherent security risks associated with one of the EU’s fundamental ‘four freedoms’ have been revealed once more. Daily Mail reporters have again exposed the so-called ‘Lille loophole’, whereby anyone – including terrorists – can take advantage of the open-border Schengen area.
In the most recent case, it has been proved anyone can travel from Brussels to London – via Lille – without having their passport checked by British border authorities. However, despite British ministerial intervention, Eurostar is refusing to co-operate to help to find a solution – at the moment.
The news comes after Islamic State terrorists have been able to criss-cross many EU national borders while on the run after committing atrocious terrorist acts in mainland Europe – and only time will tell whether a major Islamic State-related terror attack occurs inside the United Kingdom.
It is becoming clear how ill-considered the idea of freedom of movement – and in particular, the Schengen area – is. Removing almost all restrictions on migration between 32 different countries, each with separate intelligence and security agencies, is invariably going to get in the way of the vital need to fight against crime and terror.
This, however, clearly did not occur to the Euro-federalist ideologues in Brussels. No doubt when they dreamt up the idea of the ‘four freedoms’, they did not consider the abject danger of terrorists such as Islamic State.
As with the Eurozone, they were blinkered to the obvious side-effects of their utopian projects, and it comes as no surprise they are responding to these problems by demanding ‘more Europe’! Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator, made it clear last week – the appetite in Brussels for deeper integration has not gone away.
The simplest and best answer to this issue is the one embraced by the British people last year – end EU free movement, and take back control of our own borders.
We would then be able to institute, for example, a visa-waiver system, similar to the U.S. and other countries. This would give us total control over who can and can’t come into this country, while the funds raised could also be used towards funding our border authorities.
Beyond ending free movement, Brexit offers more real advantages by boosting this country’s security. We would be able to continue co-operating with EU security institutions such as Europol, insofar as it is mutually beneficial to us and them, while remaining outside any further integration which could threaten the independence of our own security apparatus.
Indeed, Britain has one of the best intelligence services in the world. We enjoy particularly extensive global intelligence ties, including with the U.S. through the ‘Five Eyes’ alliance, and therefore the EU will be especially keen to maintain co-operation with us on security matters post-Brexit.
We have the clout to maintain the best of European security co-operation, while being able to reduce our reliance on ‘weak link’ states with non-compliant or underfunded security apparatus.
Britain would also be able to protect its own citizens from the worst of the EU’s justice systems by leaving the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), which makes it extremely difficult to fight extradition to EU member states, regardless of the merits of the case.
Thanks to the EAW, Briton Andrew Symeou spent a year in a squalid Greek jail on a spurious murder charge, for example, while London resident Alexander Adamescu is currently fighting extradition to Romania on charges widely believed to be politically motivated.
Without the European Arrest Warrant, our security should be adequately protected by additional border controls with mainland Europe – if the Home Office and Eurostar get their act together, and by normal extradition agreements. It is difficult to imagine any EU member state desperately wanting to cling on to a genuine terror suspect wanted by the British authorities.
Brexit would also allow us to save money and enhance our national security by deporting foreign criminals. Ending free movement would strengthen our ability to deport criminals who are EU citizens. Leaving the EU would give us the opportunity to leave the European Convention on Human Rights, allowing us to deport those who currently escape deportation by invoking the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
As an EU member state, even if we left the ECHR ourselves – as Theresa May proposed during the Referendum campaign – the EU would still impose it upon us, as it incorporated the ECHR into its law in the Treaty of Lisbon.
When we Get Britain Out of the EU – as we should do as quickly as possible – we will finally be able to end the farce of free movement, control our own borders, and defend our people against foreign miscarriages of justice. We will also be able to protect the independence of our intelligence and security apparatus while continuing to co-operate on these issues with our European neighbours – where mutually beneficial.
It is proving to be a very dangerous world out there, and Brexit will help to keep this country and its citizens safe.
Jayne Adye is Director of cross-party Eurosceptic group Get Britain Out