Statement by Professor Thom Brooks, Head of Durham Law School & Professor of Law and Government:
· Home Affairs Committee Report says EU action is “too little, too late” after a year long inquiry
· Many of its conclusions and recommendations I reached a year ago. For example:
· The Committee’s Report says that too few local authorities have taken in Syrian refugees and that the government seems unable to meet its own target of repatriating 20,000. But many of us have noted with concern that too few local authorities take ANY refugees. Neither former PM David Cameron or former Immigration Minister (now Northern Ireland Secretary) James Brokenshire had one refugee relocated to their constituencies. Meanwhile areas like Middlesbrough have taken in more than the national guidelines and faced heavy pressures on local public services as a result. This is a problem that isn’t new.
· The Report states that there should be greater coordination among Britain’s Border Agency, MOD, Coast Guard and other agencies to deal with border security issues together in a more ‘joined up’ effort. But unprecedented movement of people into Europe also requires greater coordination on the EU’s border. Britain cannot police it alone. If the UK remained in the EU, it would be part of a EU-wide coast guard protecting Europe’s external border. Government now needs a plan in place on what it will do next with a Brexit.
· Treaty arrangements between Britain and France for the Eurotunnel are separate from any agreements within the EU. The one need not be affected much by the other and should remain in place.
MEDIA CONTACTS for Prof THOM BROOKS: EMAIL or PHONE (0191 3344 365)