Friday, September 04, 2015

DC's statement on the Migration crisis and EU Reform

During his visit to Portugal, Prime Minister David Cameron has today issued the following statement

"It is a pleasure to be here today in Portugal – Britain’s oldest ally. Of course, it is only a few weeks since I was here on holiday. But this is my first official visit to Lisbon since attending the NATO Summit in 2010.

Back then, both our economies were on the brink. The UK had suffered the deepest recession of all the major nations. And the Portuguese government’s borrowing costs were sky-rocketing.

And as leaders, both of us have had to take tough decisions to turn our economies around.

We have begun to see the results - in the UK, a jobs-led recovery has created more than a 1,000 jobs a day. And in Portugal unemployment has fallen to pre-crisis levels and the government is now able to raise finance. Prime Minister, that is an impressive record.

Both of us want to finish the job and to ensure that our countries continue to grow, bringing peace of mind for our hard-working people.

Today, we have discussed EU reform and the migration crisis."

EU reform

"First on EU reform. We discussed my plan to address the concerns of the British people and to make the EU more competitive.

I set out the 4 areas we are seeking reform – on competitiveness, sovereignty, social security and economic governance.

There are many areas where the Prime Minister and I agree. For example, we both think that the EU can do much more to unleash the potential of the single market, whether in services, energy or the digital sector.

We both want to see less unnecessary regulation at the European level and we welcome the fact that the European Commission, under President Juncker, is producing fewer legislative proposals. We both believe in a stronger role for national Parliaments.

These are reforms that will benefit not just Britain, but Portugal and other EU countries too. Of course there is more work to be done to find the right solutions. But I believe this can be done.

At the heart of this negotiation is one simple question – is the EU flexible enough to respond to the different concerns of its 28 member states and to work together to make the EU more successful?"


"Turning to migration, this is clearly the biggest challenge facing countries across Europe today. In the first 6 months of this year, more than 220,000 people were detected crossing the Mediterranean to Europe.

And in July alone, over 100,000 people made this journey, 3 times higher than the number last year. These people come from different countries and different circumstances.

We know that many are Syrians fleeing the conflict that has raged across their country, that has killed over 220,000 and has forced more than 11 million people to flee their homes. They now face two enemies at home – Assad and ISIL.

Britain has a moral responsibility to help refugees as we have done throughout our history. We are already are providing sanctuary and we will continue to do so."

Factsheet on the UK's humanitarian aid response to the Syria crisis

"As the second largest bilateral donor to the crisis, we have provided over £900 million in aid to help those affected in Syria and the region – we have funded shelter, food, water and vital medical supplies for millions of desperate refugees fleeing the conflict and helping them to survive in the countries around Syria, like Jordan and Lebanon.

No European country has done more than Britain in this regard. Were it not for that massive aid, the numbers making the perilous journey to Europe today would be even higher.

Now we have already accepted around 5,000 Syrians and have introduced a specific resettlement scheme, alongside those we already have, to help those Syrian refugees particularly at risk.

As I said earlier this week, we will accept thousands more under these existing schemes and we keep them under review.

And given the scale of the crisis and the suffering of the people, today I can announce that we will do more – providing resettlement for thousands more Syrian refugees.

We will continue with our approach of taking them from the refugee camps. This provides them with a more direct and safe route to the UK, rather than risking the hazardous journey which has tragically cost so many lives.

We will discuss how best to design these schemes and the numbers we will take with NGOs and our partners. We will set out more details next week.

Alongside this, Britain will continue to work with partners to tackle the conflict in Syria, to provide support to the region, to go after the smuggling gangs exploiting these people and to save lives at sea.

HMS Enterprise remains in the Mediterranean alongside the Border Force cutters and together with HMS Bulwark, they have now rescued more than 6,700 people.

Britain will act with our head and our heart, providing refuge for those in need while working on long term solutions to this crisis. As I said earlier in the week, that means bringing to an end to the conflicts that are driving so many to flee, including the bloodbath that has engulfed Syria."

David Cameron

(You can also read this on the UK government website here.)


Jim said...

on competitiveness, sovereignty, social security and economic governance"

Ok, so what are the reforms you seek Mr Cameron?

You see unless you say, then no one will know if you got them or not. Its pretty simple.

Much the same as any project really, you need a clear scope definition before you start.

kind of "The scope is to build a bridge, from [this point] to [this point] from steel, and concrete, which has two lanes of traffic, one in each direction, is capable of supporting HGV transport, and allows for the river shipping lane to be maintained, this project must be open for use in 2019 and will cost £96 Million."

saying "this project is to reform the need for better transport in [this area]" cuts no ice at all and says nothing. I could pretend my project was a complete success by adding a bus shelter to a near by 'b' road.

Chris Whiteside said...

If DC came back from the negotiations with a big reduction in red tape burdens on industry and the city, complete freedom of action on migration, significant further reforms on agriculture and fisheries, a big cut in EU bureaucracy, greater transparency and more democracy in Brussels, and a £1000 bonus for every family in Britain, those who are opposed in principle to British membership would still scream from the rooftops that the negotiation was a sham, a surrender and a failure.

They are already busily engaged, with help from their friends in the media, in preparing the ground to make that argument whatever DC comes back with, and planting stories and "leaks" about how DC is only making a token negotiation has been part of that.

David Cameron has a good reason and one which is arguably bad but will be very powerful, not to be too explicit in public about what he is trying to get. The good reason is not to undermine his negotiating position with other European leaders. The "bad" but understandable reason is not to make it easier for his opponents back home to rubbish whatever he comes back with.

You expressed surprise a few days ago, Jim, that the PM gave in so easily on the referendum wording. The point is that there are things he can make concessions on, but other issues where giving way would paint a target on his back for other EU leaders, opposition parties, and his enemies in them Conservative party alike to shoot at.

DC has moved on the wording of the referendum.

He will move on the "purdah" rules or anything else he has to move on to ensure that the referendum is, and is seen to be, fair.

That will include letting senior Conservatives campaign for "Leave."

But he can't and won't give away his negotiating position.

Jim said...

To the first paragraph, no, they cant do that (suggest a a surrender and a failure) simply because there is no criteria as to what a success or a failure is. Thats kind of the point. So no matter what he does come back with no one will know if it is a success or a failure, as I said, that is exactly why a project needs a scope defined before it starts.

I think you are also missing the point on purdah as well, you see if DC will do everything possible to have a fair referendum, then the purdah not applying clause to the first draft of the referendum bill would never have been there in the first place.

As to him "letting" senior conservative members campaign for "leave" - I can only say "how very democratic of him"