Theresa May argued that they were ‘countries with poor populations and serious problems with organised crime, corruption, and sometimes even terrorism. We have to ask ourselves, is it really right that the EU should just continue to expand, conferring upon all new member states all the rights of membership?’
Vote Leave’s Iain Duncan Smith agreed with the Home Secretary:
“The Home Secretary is right to warn of the dangers of countries like Albania and Turkey being allowed to join the European Union. If these countries are let into the EU’s open border system it will only increase the pressure on our NHS, schools and housing. It will also vastly increase the risk of crime and terrorism on British streets.
“After the Home Secretary’s powerful intervention, is the Prime Minister now going to make clear that the UK no longer supports their bid to join the EU? If he does not, will he make clear why he disagrees with his own Home Secretary?”
Following the Home Secretary’s comments today there are key questions the Prime Minister must answer.
- Will the Prime Minister commit today to veto EU expansion to Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey under all circumstances?
- Does the Prime Minister accept the Home Secretary’s comment that it is a bad idea to welcome countries that have ‘serious problems with organised crime, corruption, and sometimes even terrorism’?
- Does the Government accept that giving 88 million persons the right to enter the UK will place a major burden on the NHS?
- Does the forecast of an extra 3 million net migrants by 2030 take into account future EU accessions?
Michael Gove MP added a few words after the Home Secretary’s admission:
“The EU response to the migration crisis is a Five Nations free-for-all with an invitation to Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania and Turkey to join the Union. Because we cannot control our borders – and because our deal sadly does nothing to change this fact – public services like the NHS will face an unquantifiable strain as millions more become EU citizens and have the right to move to the UK. We cannot guarantee the same access people currently enjoy to healthcare and housing if these trends continue. There is a direct and serious threat to our public services, standard of living and ability to maintain social solidarity if we accept continued membership of the EU.“