Coffee House

Is it really wise for David Cameron to threaten us with migrants?

8 February 2016

4:42 PM

8 February 2016

4:42 PM

Is it really wise for David Cameron to threaten us with migrants? That is what he has done today with his warning that if we ‘leave’ the EU then the migrant camp in Calais could have to be moved to Folkestone, Dover, or our own back gardens. Not only is the claim wrong (our Calais arrangements are with France, not with the EU) it neatly shines a light on the biggest failure of his time in office.

The ‘jungle’ in Calais is currently home to around 5,000 people. They are there because the EU does almost nothing to control its external borders and made a principle of abolishing its internal borders (‘free movement of people’). As Nick Cohen noted in yesterday’s Observer, the people in the camp in Calais are economic migrants, not refugees, and as such they have no more right to be in the EU than anyone else in the world. They are there because they broke into the EU and now they are trying to break into Britain.

But let us say, notwithstanding last week’s ‘concession’ crumb from Brussels, that the British people do what David Cameron is trying to scare us into not doing, and vote to leave the EU. And let us say that the French and the British never again want to do business with each other, and the dreaded camp-dwellers of Calais are immediately shipped over to the South East of England.

How long would it take? Months? Weeks? Well, if we emptied the camp at Calais in a week and brought all the inhabitants here it would still be less than an average week’s immigration into the UK during David Cameron and Theresa May’s time in office. And even if that camp filled up again every single week then that still wouldn’t be worse than ‘managed migration’ under David Cameron and Theresa May. Remember this is the government that promised to bring migration into the UK down from the hundreds of thousands a year to the tens of thousands, yet just last year saw a record high of 330,000 people migrating into the UK. All of which has brought negligible economic benefits to Britain, but has greatly further damaged (to an extent no one seems to want to admit) the possibility of our having any coherent future as a country.

Now the interesting thing in all this is that for six years now, whenever the PM or Home Secretary were confronted with their immigration failure they both used just one excuse: ‘It’s the EU’s fault.’ So it is really fascinating to watch a PM who used this excuse for six years now threaten us that immigration will get out of control if we don’t vote with him to stay in the EU. The sole excuse for his U-turn is a ‘renegotiation’ which does not even pretend to do anything about slowing the flow of people.

I rather suspect that people can see this for the nonsense it is. If we were an independent, sovereign country then we could have borders which worked and remove people who ought not to be here. If illegal immigrants really were constantly allowed to flow in from France then we would ensure that they just flowed right back out again. However, if the British people are successfully scared into voting to remain in the EU then no future UK government of any political stripe will be able to stand against any of the immigration policies of the EU. A Calais a week will look like an idyll. Particularly since the main EU immigration policy at the moment is to encourage in millions of people each year from the most impoverished and radicalised parts of the world and only then work out that most of them shouldn’t be here.

Still I imagine that by tomorrow ‘Project Fear’ will have moved onto some other argument. Perhaps it will be Alan Johnson’s argument that the European Union is the only thing that can save us from the jihadists. Or Nick Clegg’s argument that if we leave the EU then we will be able to do nothing to stop our children being abused by paedophiles. My own hope is that the ‘In’ campaign keep telling us that Britain was a sad and inconsequential little country that achieved nothing of note until the 1970s when the nice Europeans took pity on us and made us into something. I love that one.

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Show comments
  • WTF

    So this killer is really an adult and not a child, who would have thought it ? Certainly not Merkel or Juncker despite others warning that migrants were understating their ages. Where are all the libtard apologists now ?

  • Jonathan Tedd

    We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependants, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. So insane are we that we actually permit unmarried persons to immigrate for the purpose of founding a family with spouses and fiancées whom they have never seen

  • WTF

    Cameron’s digging his own grave over the migrant issue when Muslim males now use Islam to justify rape as well as terrorism !

  • David

    I’m confused. Why would the UK “have to” import those immigrants? There’s a natural barrier in the way. Just keep not bringing them across. Let them sit there in Calais, or leave, or try to swim the channel, whatever they want to do.

  • greggf

    “……it neatly shines a light on the biggest failure of his time in office.”

    The immigration of uncontrolled migrants into the UK is a perfidy that all our Governments ignore. And that one day will be reckoned with.

  • I killed Madeleine Mccann

    I think we can all agree that migrants are a bad thing.

  • JohnCrichton89

    We are essentially a banana republic, we are being ‘allowed’ to vote under the threat that our economy will implode. In a democracy we would be talking about making this voting business a regular thing. Also note that if you vote out, negotiations to leave will begin and we wont actually be allowed to leave right away, the process would take years. In those years we would be made to vote again and again until they get the result they like, under the guise that they have brokered a ‘new’ deal every time.

  • ArchiePonsonby

    I love the smell of panic in the morning. It smells like……………..victory. (For the out vote!)

    • WTF

      A bit like that line in Apocalypse Now “I love the smell of Napalm in the morning”, burn Cameron, burn !

      • ArchiePonsonby

        Precisely! The origin of my little effort!

  • Allyup

    We are not supposed to think. Politicians are there to think for us

  • MikeTV

    Whilst this is another over-lengthy Douglas Murray diatribe – just for once, he’s written something sensible, with which I can agree.

  • foto2021

    Ironic that Cameron should threaten us with 50,000 migrants, when he already lets in over 330,000 a year thanks to our membership of the EU.

  • General_Patten

    Before yesterday I was determined to behave with civility with any of the IN camp. Now **** it! The gloves are off with these quislings. Our country is at stake!

    • Penny

      Won’t Cameron just delay the vote until he feels that public opinion is on his side? Stealth is better.

  • James

    What happened to that ‘solidarity’ with the French?

  • Marvin

    When a RAT is cornered, it will use any means to survive. So Cameron is using his best assets he was born with. Lies and deceit.

  • Muttley

    I’d love to know how the EU can save us fom the jihadis. As far as I can work out they are all here already, or in France, Belgium and now of course in Germany in their thousands. If that’s proection, they can keep it!

  • Andy Capp

    Cameron is scaremongering but even if you believe his premise that leaving the EU would mean additional thousands of refugees coming over from Calais, there is a simple solution. Anyone arriving in the UK and claiming asylum will be held in a detention centre (perhaps redundant ships a few hundred yards offshore). Each asylum claim will be carefully considered and anyone with a genuine claim will, of course, be granted asylum. As for the rest (the vast majority), they will be sent back to their country of origin – in weeks rather than years as is the present situation. If someone has torn up his passport in the hope of avoiding deportation then he will be held in detention until he agrees to reveal his country of origin and return there – or any other country prepared to accept him. As long as the detention centres were operated on a humanitarian basis – problem solved!

  • WTF

    There’s a lot of spin going on here in both directions and its certainly muddying the water. Saying that passport checks will come to the UK by Cameron are counter productive as that will fuel exit rather than reduce it. France saying it wont change just deflates Camerons scaremongering.

    Camerons and the EU’s problem is there is no real strategy they can use to swing the mood one way or another, the migrant situation has seen to that and that’s out of all their hands.

  • Graeme S

    Immigration will be the downfall of this false Tory cabal…… Terrific general election win squandered

  • Frank

    Good article, keep it up.
    One does wonder whether the grim Lynton Crosby and his Project Fear crew actually understand democracy? If this carries on, I suspect that there may be a very unpleasant day of reckoning.

  • Rabbi_Julia_Goyburger
  • english_pensioner

    The US doesn’t have camps in, say, New York or Boston for all those unwanted immigrants and they don’t have border controls in all the countries who have flight to the country, so why should we.
    The Americans stick any unwanted immigrant on the next return flight, usually at the airline’s expense. Which is why the airline makes careful checks before allowing you to board. We should do exactly the same; if a ferry company brings them over, it should be made to take them back.

    • WTF

      Exactly, I’ve been posting the same comments ever since Cameron made that dumb statement. He seems under some illusion that Brits aren’t aware of how passport checks are done in foreign countries by the carriers before letting you on a flight, boat or train. Even if France shuts down the UK passport and immigration at Calais it won’t change anything as the carriers will still check your passports and I doubt that a single one of these economic migrants even has a passport let alone a UK one.

      • english_pensioner

        Many have EU passports because some countries are handing them out knowing immigrants will want to go elsewhere. Outside the EU we can refuse such people.

        • WTF

          If that’s the case then its a good case for leaving the EU and introducing positive vetting for all non UK citizens before being allowed entry. I have positive vetting (police certificates) from the UK and Spain as I needed it for US immigration so I don’t see why in the current climate, we don’t require it of every non UK passport holder or perhaps everyone including UK passport holders. That would solve many problems at a stroke, security would be much tighter, economic migrants would be deterred and people would feel more secure.

          Sure, the left would wail like stuck pigs but **** em !

          • english_pensioner

            Cameron’s made another mistake by once again drawing attention to the migrant problem. As far as I’m concerned, we need to keep the subject in the headlines up to the referendum, and every little helps!

            • WTF

              Its been about immigration for a long time now but Cologne and other cities having those attacks against women were a game changer that the ruling elite across Europe including Cameron haven’t really appreciated yet. I hope that triggers a swing to a full exit. Its a bit like Capone getting nailed on tax evasion when his real crimes were extortion and murder whilst here most want out of Europe for fiscal and self determination reasons but if migrants on the loose in Cologne triggers it, who cares.

    • Jacobi

      Internment will have to come. Nasty word I know but no alternative!

      • english_pensioner

        That would be a constant problem, both from inside and outside any camp. Send them back on the next ferry, essentially what Australia did with all the boat people, towed them back.

        • Jacobi

          You must think of the logistics. An internment camp on say Herm Island in the Channels would do while the nesxt stages were sorted out, that is back to Lybia and or Turkey where they came from.

          • english_pensioner

            That would give all the Human Rights lawyers a field day. Refuse entry and send them back at once.

  • MathMan

    Why can’t we have a government that puts OUR interests first?

  • Kieron Russell

    If we leave the EU, one by one we’ll see others do the same. Good.

  • Maureen Fisher

    The simple fact that makes us so attractive to illegal immigrants is we have no ID cards and it is easy to disappear into the black economy.

    • Hippograd

      We’re attractive to illegal immigrants because we have so many “legal” immigrants. Israel has the right idea: Do not allow them to enter and establish colonies, because the more there are, the more their co-enrichers beyond the borders will want to join them.

      • Jacobi

        There are still more net immigrants coming into UK from outside the EU than from the EU. But of course the government keeps quite about that

  • Hippograd

    The important question, as always, is this: Is it good for the Community? If David has been advised by Conservative Friends of Turkmenistan to take this line, we can rest assured that it is the decent and sensible course.

  • teigitur

    It was a very silly thing to say indeed. But, hey, plus ca change for “call me Dave”!

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    For sheer cynicism this pronouncement is only surpassed by his announcement last week that the non deal he agreed was a good one for Britain. Not only that, he is just plain wrong. Last year the French Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve said:

    “Calling for the border with the English to be opened is not a responsible solution. It would send a signal to people smugglers and would lead migrants to flow to Calais in far greater numbers. A humanitarian disaster would ensue. It is a foolhardy path, and one the government will not pursue. On
    the contrary, we’re going to make the border even more watertight to dissuade smugglers and migrants, respect international rules and reduce the pressure on Calais.”

  • guy

    Are you forgetting that English is perhaps the most commonly spoken language, besides is it not likely many have already settled in France?

  • guy

    Pioneer, what are you referring to and what is your point?

  • Jacobi

    If we withdrew from the EU of course the French would open the border .

    They would be delighted to have the excuse to get rid of their Calais camp and as any migrants as possible.

    The 5,000 migrants would flood into Southern England and the signal would go all over Europe bringing in hundreds of thousands more towards Dover.

    These migrants would not accept a warning to leave the country after a week as I believe happens at airports nor could they or would they be housed in temporary accommodation. They would flood into England, head for the nearest caliphate-ghetto or just stay in Dover in their thousands and establish Dover ghetto-camp.

    Two things of vital importance .

    The channel tunnel would certainly be invaded and blocked.

    They are fit young men of military age. They are not refugees or even economic migrants. They are mostly religious migrants determined each in his own way to Islamise the UK, totally different from EU migrants who are compatible with our culture and have no wish to change it

    So wake up out there and face the facts.

    • hugo761

      Er, don’t we have an army anymore?

      • The Laughing Cavalier

        Or much of a Navy.

        • Jacobi

          Sad isn’t it. But we will all wake up soon. Hope it is not too late

      • Jacobi

        Yes of sorts. But we don’t like casualties. Mums get upset and sue the government. They, the religious immigrants don’t seem to worry about such things..

  • The PrangWizard of England

    Cameron considers himself ‘heir to Blair’, he’s going to end up the same way, to be universally despised. He betrays everyone in the end.

  • Sue Smith

    Oh, that picture is such a BAAAAD look!! One should be a lot more discriminating about whom one invites into one’s home!! Act in haste, repent at leisure.

  • AliQadoo1

    “…last year saw a record high of 330,000 people migrating into the UK…”

    Not strictly true. The real figure is nearer 600,000. 330,000 is the net figure after accounting for the 200,000 or so who left. The majority of those who arrived will not be net contributors, a sizeable proportion of those who left were net contributors. I did my bit for the net figures by leaving some time ago.

    Re the Brexit scare, I don’t think Cameron has gone far enough. A far better slogan would have been, “Don’t vote for Brexit, or killer zombies from outer space will eat your children.”

  • cdvision

    “330,000 people migrating into the UK” – rubbish.

    This is the net migration figure. Inward non-British migration was 551,000 in year ending March 2015.

  • Sosa Laforge

    unbelievable and mind-boggling. How on the earth Europe is not able to secure its borders? shoot these illegals. you freaking idiots. stop with these nonsense of human rights.

    • Adam Carter

      Give them a chance to leave first by providing deportation transport.
      If they resist, then shoot them.
      I see no other way because they are deliberate law-breakers who are prepared to use intimidation and violence and I fully expect them to offer forcible resistance to deportation.
      The choice then is either to give in to them or counter their actions with more ruthless violence.
      I know about the logical fallacy of the excluded middle, but I cannot see another way.

    • red2black

      Hard line Communist policies aren’t really popular any more. Your suggestion is Stalinist.

      • Sosa Laforge


        • red2black

          ‘shoot these illegals’. The UK has a deportation policy.

    • Cyril Sneer

      Because one of the main objectives of the EU project is the destruction of nation states. One such weapon to achieve this is unlimited mass immigration particularly from cultures that are simply not compatible with western society.

      Yes that’s right the EU hates you and me.

  • abystander

    It comes down to this.

    The French have better cheeses, finer wine, smaller bums on their women and a bigger navy.

    Jeez, they even have an aircraft carrier with planes on it.

    And they won the Hundred Years War with help from us Scots.

    The English have just never come to terms with their minor role in the modern world and their historic jealousy of the French.

    • hugo761

      Vichy anyone?

      • ColTPride

        We have two aircraft carriers with no planes because a Scottish idiot placed giving work to his own Scottish constituents ahead of the defence interests of the UK. Not that abystander would have noticed.

        Darien, Darien, Darien for ever! (Do they teach that in Scottish schools or will he have to google it?)

    • WTF

      When Saddam Hussein asked Chirac to advise him as to how many troops
      would be needed to defend his capital city, Chirac replied, “I do not
      know. France has no experience in defending its capital city.”

      Q.Why do we need France on our side against Saddam and Osama?
      A.So the French can show them how to surrender.

      Q:How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris?
      A:Nobody knows, it’s never been tried.

      Q.Why don’t they have fireworks at Euro Disney?
      A.Because every time they shoot them off, the French try to surrender.

      Q.Why did the French plant trees along the Champs Elysees?
      A.So the Germans could march in the shade.

      Q: How many gears does a French tank have?
      A: 4 reverse and 1 forward, in case the enemy attacks from the rear.

    • Ozfan

      The Scottish have just never come to terms with their minor role in the modern world and their historic jealousy of the English.