Keith Vaz MP, former Europe Minister and Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, says that he has never met a migrant who has come to Britain for benefits, and that failures in European Union leadership must be addressed if a successful resolution to the ongoing migrant crisis is to be found.
Speaking to an audience of students, staff and guests at a debate hosted by the International Relations and Social Sciences Programme at Regent's University London, Mr Vaz outlined his position on the ‘The Brewing Crisis between Europe and the UK.’
“I believe in the concept of the EU and that it encompasses 61% of our trade,” he said. “I also agree that three million jobs would be lost if Britain withdraws from the EU as a result of a referendum [planned before the end of 2017].
“However, there is a need for fundamental EU reform and the current migration crisis highlights where a lot of the problems lie – the EU fails to plan. Its leadership is completely overwhelmed and unable to respond.
“I recently visited Calais to talk to migrants and asked them why they wanted to come to the UK? Everyone comes here to work and find a better way of life. We have a moral responsibility to make sure this happens without people having to risk their lives.
“The only way to deal with the problem is at its source, by going to the migrants’ countries and providing the skills, money and ability for leaders to look after their own people so that they don’t have to put money into the hands of the ‘Mr Bigs’ who trade in people.”
Mr Vaz concluded: “Leadership is the one thing we are lacking in the world. The people who always get to the top seem to be the ordinary ones who don’t offend anyone. This has become a real problem and we need more universities to get involved in the debate surrounding leadership and teach the subject.”