Syed Kamall addressed the European Parliament today in the debate summing up the October European Council.
A lot happened last week in Brussels.
Many positive things were achieved.
As leader of the most pro-free trade group in the European
The ECR Group welcomes the signature of the trade, investment
and partnership agreements with Singapore,
Just as we welcome the progress on the EU-Japan trade deal,
And the adoption of the Vietnam trade agreement,
as well as the US government’s push for an agreement with Japan,
the EU and the UK.
I hope all of these developments are a signal of a more outward
looking EU, a re-engaged United States, and a global Britain.
However, it is difficult to convince the electorate that things
are going in the right direction, when we had yet another summit with no clear
outcome on migration, and on Brexit.
Agreeing a withdrawal agreement may be complex, but many of us
have been here long enough to know that there is no such thing as
We see time and time again, the seemingly impossible become the
The inflexible become the flexible.
The proverbial rabbit pulled out of the hat at the 11th hour.
For situations that have been described as all or nothing,
Such as the Danish opt out and Protocol 36 with the UK,
We have manage to find unique solutions.
Either the seemingly impossible becomes the possible, or there
will be no deal.
Mrs May’s position on the backstop isn’t a negotiating position,
or a bluff,
It is quite simply a Prime Minister defending the constitutional
sovereignty and geographical borders of a nation, of a hard won peace borne
through generations of violence and diplomacy.
It was clear - that as leaders sat out on the grand place
sharing a joke and a drink,
Instead of continuing into the early hours of the morning
that there was no sense of urgency around reaching a deal at
this council meeting.
So the sooner we start building our shared future, rather than
fighting about our joined past - the better for everyone.
We must redouble our efforts to find compromises that address
the concerns of both communities in Northern Ireland, not just the Nationalists
and the Irish government.
We must look again at indicative time limits, possible sunset
clauses, declarations, protocols, and technology that allows checks away from
Looking to the future, not crying over the past.
The ECR believes that the key to that better future is reaching
a clear and united policy on the handling of the migration crisis.
We welcomes the fact that many of the policies now being
discussed within the Council, were policies proposed by the ECR Group, at the
peak of the crisis, such as:
- Speeding up processing and returns,
- Increasing funding and powers for Frontex,
- Seeking enhanced arrangements with third countries to stem
the flow of migrants.
- And allowing countries to contribute in other way, apart from
If these common sense policies had been adopted sooner,
and not simply dismissed as anti-European or populist,
then maybe the system would be in better shape now.
That is why the ECR Group does not wish to see another national
or European election go by, where Brussels dismisses the result, or the
legitimate concerns of its electorate in favour of policies, which have already
proven to fail.
Instead, we should ask countries how they are willing to
- Some will take in genuine asylum seekers
- Some will help refugees closer to their homes
- Some will give money to help frontline countries
Whether it is Brexit or the migration crisis
The time for talking and posturing is coming to an end.
16 February 2024
16 February 2024
14 February 2024