THERESA May last night told European Union chiefs that Britain will not accept a fresh wave of asylum seekers following the political upheaval in North Africa.
In a showdown at a meeting of ministers in Brussels, the Home Secretary ruled out any UK involvement in a common EU asylum policy to address a surge of immigrants from countries in turmoil such as Tunisia and Libya.
Her warning came during an EU row over border controls following fears about growing levels of illegal migration.
Tensions have increased over Lampedusa, a tiny Mediterranean island between Tunisia and Italy, which has a huge influx of immigrants wanting to reach Europe.
Officials in Spain, France, Italy and other southern European nations pressed for the burden of the response to the refugee crisis to be shared by EU nations.
But, at the meeting of EU home affairs ministers yesterday, Mrs May made clear that Britain would not accept any of the immigrants. After the meeting, a Home Office spokesman said: “A common asylum system or new laws will not resolve the unprecedented influx of migrants at Europe’s Mediterranean border. Britain has offered Italy practical assistance to help maintain their border controls and asylum processes.
“Those seeking international protection are expected to claim asylum in the first safe country they enter. Those who have no genuine claim to protection should be returned to their home countries quickly.
“We retain the right to not opt into any agreement which will weaken Britain’s borders.”
The ministers’ meeting also saw a row over moves by the Danish government to re-introduce border controls. German officials accused the Danes of breaching the Schengen Agreement, which allows freedom of movement across all EU nations except the UK and Ireland.
Danish ministers have stepped up border checks in response to a surge in cross-border crime. But Danish immigration minister Soren Pind denied that the re-introduction of passport and customs checks was a violation of the Schengen Agreement.
The Italians, Spanish and French will help them board trains bound for Blighty and no matter how many stops the trains make.....................They won't get out until they see the whites of the Benefit Clerks eyes!!!!
Theresa May can say what she likes....actions speak louder than words