The refugee convention is an outdated relic. We must change it – or leave

Migrants crossing the Channel
Migrants crossing the Channel

The 1951 UN Refugee Convention was designed primarily to deal with the post-war refugee crisis in Europe, and to prevent a repeat of the darkest days of the continent’s history. It was written by Europeans for Europe, and signed at first by less than 20 nations. It has since become a global document, largely unchanged but for some minor enhancements in its 1967 Protocol.

If we left an antique untouched in an attic for seven decades, we wouldn’t be surprised to find it has started to look shabby. The same idea holds for the institutions and documents that govern us. They need to be updated to reflect the modern world and way we lead our lives. Otherwise, we can’t be surprised that they begin to fail, particularly if we begin to use them to a different purpose from that originally intended.

The Refugee Convention is no longer fit for purpose. A document drawn up with the best of intentions has been hijacked by clever human rights lawyers and vile people smugglers. Instead of grandstanding with virtue signalling and puffed up cheeks and chests, as most Parliamentarians tend to pontificate on this matter, what is need is serious leadership. Real, courageous, Churchillian leadership.

Suella Braverman is brave and no doubt many will be encouraged by her warm words in Washington on the need for change. But that is nothing like enough. Much more is needed, urgently. Do you think that 200 boats and almost 10,000 migrants arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa in just 2 days was a coincidence, arranged by a couple of blokes with a dog and phone? This was highly organised, with huge money involved. It is even possible this is a deliberate campaign by our enemies to destabilise Europe.

We have to make it clear that unless there is a radical amendment to the Convention within a tight time-frame of six months, we are out. Shock and awe is needed to awake our complacent elites out of their cosy metropolitan slumber.

The millions of potential economic migrants targeting the UK and Europe over the next few years are a clear and present danger to our way of live, our culture, our security and our prosperity.

The citizens of Europe are already furious at the failure of the traditional political class to recognise and deal with mass immigration. The consequences of falling to act are profound, scary and possibly ugly. Some will criticise me for being alarmist; I am just being a forward looking realist. I hear on the streets of Britain the levels of anger of decent hard working taxpaying folk. I sense the same across Europe.

The United Kingdom has led the way on so many issues before and we must step up now. We must remind the world that Australia was right in pushing back the boats. We must pick up and return the illegal migrants crossing the Channel back to France as we are allowed to do under international maritime law. The party I lead, Reform UK, is committed to this solution. Let us lead the way.

The EU’s leaders must then follow our example and do the same across the Mediterranean. Every single boat must be taken back. Once that is secure, and everyone knows we mean business, then we can help the UN to increase the pressure on all to reduce local and regional wars as well as increase prosperity in other parts of the world. If we fail, then everything is at risk.

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