Today the Sunday Telegraph contains an interview with Liam Fox MP, former defence secretary who is urging voters to reclaim Britain’s “sovereignty” in the EU referendum, in order to protect the border as the European migration crisis grows. He warns that terrorists could enter Britain posing as refugees. The MP told the Telegraph it was “beyond ridiculous” for David Cameron to claim that EU membership improved national security. He said Europe posed many threats to the UK, from the economic turmoil in the Eurozone to a repeat of the scenes in which gangs of migrants assaulted women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. It is bizarre for the former defence secretary who has consistently argued for numerous interventions in the middle East using our advanced weapons and even the boots on the ground from our soldiers, to treat the European Union as the threat and cause of terrorism. It is also disturbing to read his words suggesting that somehow the appalling behaviour in Cologne on New Years Eve was caused by or facilitated by the European Union. The European migration crisis is not a problem created by the European Union or indeed by the way in which Greece and Turkey have responded to those fleeing the wars in Syria and Libya. Although the European Union offers us a substantial opportunity to share the challenge of refugees, it is clear that if that opportunity is going to be realised, that we have to work with the other 27 nations to help create a Europe wide solution. Yesterday a local Councillor was in Calais at the Jungle and her tweets and facebook accounts made it clear that even if the UK left the European Union, that those in the camp would be no less drawn to our shores. What is likely is that any hope of increased cooperation from France and other nations in Europe in offering a place of sanctuary to such travellers will diminish if we turn our back on the EU.
It would also be helpful for Dr Fox to reflect on his own uncritical support for Saudia Arabia. Their attacks on the innocent in Yemen using our weapon systems are adding to the threats on our shores. If he is willing to argue for breaking ties with France, Germany and the other EU states in order to protect our nation, it is time for him to accept that the decisions taken in Saudi Arabia also present a clear threat to our security.