Priti Patel: EU states frustrated by 'lack of progress' on immigration
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Priti Patel has told the House of Commons that European Union member states are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the bloc’s inability to tackle the migrant crisis gripping the continent. The Home Secretary informed MPs on Monday that European capitals were ignoring EU Commission rules on migration and clubbing together on a bilateral basis in the face of a “lack of progress” from Brussels.
The Home Secretary told MPs: “Obviously it’s the Commission…the EU Commission that leads on illegal migration.
“And countries…member states themselves are not supposed to actually engage at a bilateral level.
“And they’re all breaking out of that cycle right now.
“Out of their own frustration with the Commission’s inability to grip this issue.”
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The Home Secretary added that individual European Union countries are negotiating with the UK about immigration deals “out of their own frustration” with the trading bloc’s leaders.
Ms Patel told MPs “a range of negotiations” were taking place, describing immigration as an “EU competency issue right now”.
She added: “We are discussing in a way in which this would not actually keep the Commission happy, but with France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Italy and Greece and as of today Poland and there are other countries as well where we are having active discussions, and I think it is really important.
“They are having discussions with us out of their own frustration for lack of progress in terms of tackling wider long-term and long-scale issues around illegal migration, as well as returns and admissions.
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They are topics that are very much concerning all governments right now.”
It comes as Patel mocked the Labour Party’s position on Channel migrant crossings during a tense clash in the House of Commons.
Ms Patel told the House of Commons: “The only solution is wholesale reform of our asylum system.
“Labour have consistently voted against the plan to do so.
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“Instead of making suggestions that are practical, they are totally divorced from the reality.
“They don’t have a viable plan.”
She added: “The Right Honourable gentleman constantly says that I should deepen my cooperation with France, while also criticising this side of the house for giving money to France to patrol their beaches.
“He suggested the problem is down to reduce aid, failings to note that France, Mr Speaker, is not a recipient of UK aid.”
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