HAYES IN THE HOUSE: By South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes
In recent weeks the national press and television news have been dominated by stories and images of the mass movement of people from North Africa and the Middle East to Europe.
Bowing to pressure to admit into our country many of the people who have already made the journey to continental Europe will do nothing to solve the current refugee crisis and may put many millions of people in mortal danger
In the face of sometimes heart-rending images it is difficult to resist the siren calls from Brussels and elsewhere that we should simply open our borders to a great influx of migrants. As we consider our response, we should remember the words of the great writer G K Chesterton, who concluded that while it may be easy to go with the stream of opinion, only a living thought can go against it.
Bowing to pressure to admit into our country many of the people who have already made the journey to continental Europe will do nothing to solve the current refugee crisis and may put many millions of people in mortal danger. While thousands have made the perilous journey across the Mediterranean, they represent just a small fraction of the millions who have been displaced from their homes in Syria. If we open our borders it will encourage many more to put their lives at risk by making the journey across the sea. The only people to benefit would be the traffickers who profit from human misery.
Transfixed by the effect, many people are ignoring the cause of the problem. Addressing the cause, the Prime Minister has said that the right thing to do is to focus our efforts on assisting genuine refugees in the camps on the Syrian border. In particular, we have a duty provide food, shelter and healthcare to those who have been forced from the homes so they are able to return to Syria once the conflict has ended.
Our Island nation has long been a beacon of freedom and hope to people across the globe, but it is irresponsible to claim that we can solve the world’s problems simply by opening our doors. Mass immigration would put unbearable pressure on public services, infrastructure and finances. It could ultimately undermine our ability to help others and, ironically, threaten a way of life that is an inspiration to so many throughout the world.