UKIP’s defence spokesman Mike Hookem has blamed the terrorist attacks in Brussels on the EU’s Schengen free movement agreement. In a statement written from his office in the European Parliament in responce to the bombings at Zaventum airport, Hookem says that the Schengen Area is a threat to our security.
Here’s the statement, the added emphasis is ours:
“This horrific act of terrorism shows that the Schengen free movement and lax border controls are a threat to our security. The head of Eurpol said in February that 5000 jihadists are at large in the EU having slipped in from Syria. There are 94 returned jihadists currently living in Molenbeek, Brussels. This fact alone should alert people to the fact that open borders are putting the lives of European citizens at risk.”
The Schengen Area is a passportless zone that allows free movement between EU countries. It is part of EU law and all new EU member are obliged to join it.
Hookem’s statement hits on a major topic that is beginning dominate the EU referendum debate — security. Led by Prime Minister David Cameron, the Remain campaign are trying to sell the message that Britain is “stronger, safer and better off” inside the EU.
However, the Leave campaign say that staying in the EU puts Britain at risk from terror attacks. Just last month, Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader whose resignation last week plunged his party into crisis, claimed that staying in the EU would make the UK more vulnerable to Paris-style terror attacks.
Now that a Paris-style terror has happened again,the issue of Britain’s safety as a member of the EU is set to dominate the agenda.
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