George Eustice reacts to Barnier's immigration suspension calls
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The Environment Secretary’s comments come as former Brexit Task Force head Michel Barnier performed a major U-turn after admitting the European Union have got their immigration policies wrong and said the Commission should shut the bloc’s external borders for “3-5 years”. George Eustice said Britons “did the right thing” voting Brexit and said the borders debacle “is up to them (EU) to try to address.” Mr Barnier said how the bloc must implement stricter “border checks” and “find solutions” to re-address issues with the Schengen Agreement.
Mr Eustice told Nick Ferrari: “The UK always recognised that complete free movement and borderless travel had its challenges.
“And that’s why we never signed up to the Schengen Agreement that enabled that borderless travel.”
He continued by saying: “People’s lack of confidence in the ability to control who’s coming into the country and under what terms and under what visa is one of the reasons many people thought we should leave the European Union.”
But Nick Ferrari then interjected saying how it “is a tad rich” of Michel Barnier’s to perform such a U-Turn on immigration and border checks
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The Environment Secretary replied: “I suppose it is. It is an admission and I think we will see more of this.”
He then delivered a stinging zinger to the bloc, saying: “A lot about the way the way the European Union has developed isn’t really working very well.
“It is up to them to try to address that.”
Mr Eustice concluded how “we did the right thing” adding that Britons “took the decision that this was a chapter of our history that was over and that we were going to become an independent country again” in voting Brexit and getting out of the bloc.
Michel Barnier says immigration should have '3 year suspension'
Mr Barnier on Tuesday demanded a halt to the European Union’s open-border in a shock policy U-turn.
Speaking to French station France Télévisions, the former EU Brexit negotiator suggested a “3 to 5 years” halt would help the union re-discuss the state of the Schengen Area and help tackle issues with the bloc’s migration system, specifically in France which is currently struggling to deal with an illegal immigration crisis.
He explained how the “problems of immigration are not moderate” adding the bloc “must find solutions”.
And in a shock admission he said the bloc must implement stricter “border checks”.
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Mr Barnier said: “I say as the political man that I am to look at the problems as there are, as the French live it, and to find solutions.
“I think we must take the time of 3 to 5 years to suspend immigration.”
But he clarified how he was not “talking about students, not talking about refugees” before adding the importance of treating people seeking asylum and help on Europe’s shores “with humanity, with rigor.”
The Frenchman added: “But we must discuss with our neighbours the Schengen question, that we must apply border checks” and in a surprise change of tack he said that the bloc “have to be more rigorous.”
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