While much of the concern over immigration in Great Britain has, understandably, been focused on terrorists and other violent criminals from the Middle East, it appears that the migration of Euro-thugs into the United Kingdom might be the final push for British voters to opt for leaving the European Union (EU).
Britain votes June 23 on whether to cut its ties with the EU, and voters in the U.K. have been subjected to unrelenting pressure to stay, some from its own political leaders, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, but also from foreign leaders from Spain, the Netherlands, and Germany. Even President Barack Obama has lectured British voters they should remain in the EU.
The outcome of the vote is now considered “too close to call.”
But the threat of violent thugs and rapists from other parts of Europe having easy access into Britain might tip the scales in favor of the Leave forces. These criminals get to Britain and are not deported or imprisoned.
They are in Britain mostly due to its membership in the European Union. Any person in any EU member nation may freely cross the border into any other EU member state. Apparently, thousands of violent criminals have decided to travel to the U.K.
Almost 1,000 are from Poland, while another 600 are from Romania. Ireland is the source of almost 800 of these thugs. All in all, there are over 4,000 violent immigrants incarcerated in England or Wales. Among the charges are rape, robbery, pedophilia, and drug dealing. Incredibly, it is estimated that there are in excess of 13,000 foreign criminals in Britain, either in jail, or even more alarming, walking the streets!
The problem is — even those who are now imprisoned — all of these criminals have their “rights,” which include the “right” to stay in Britain. Once they have finished their sentences, they can say they’ve “done their time” and, being a citizen of the EU, can simply remain where they are — in the U.K. Technically, they can be sent back to their host European country, but this often does not happen. After all, so-called free trade includes not only the free flow of goods across porous national borders, but also the free flow of human beings. Americans concerned about the flood of immigrants into our own country should take note as to exactly what these “free trade” deals — which are really “managed trade” deals — really mean.
If Britain were not in the EU, then thugs could be deported, and not allowed to return.
What happens is that when any person from any EU country arrives in the U.K,, they are checked out for criminal history. The system, however, fails to catch many of these traveling criminals, and if the crime is not considered serious enough, no record of their criminal past will even show up.
Justice Minister Dominic Raab, who favors leaving the EU, charged that membership in the EU is making Britain “less safe.” He continued: “This damning report shows that the EU is making it more difficult to remove dangerous criminals which puts us at risk. It also costs UK taxpayers huge sums of money to keep these people in our prisons rather than sending them home.”
Recent figures for criminals released after serving time make the case for the seriousness of the situation. Of 416 foreign criminals freed between October and December of last year, only six were deported.
Yet Cameron has argued that British membership in the EU contributes to increased safety for Brits. “When terrorists are planning to kill and maim people on British streets, the closest possible security cooperation is far more important than sovereignty in its purest theoretical form,” Cameron has said, pleading with the voters of Britain to stay in the EU.
Arguing that the U.K. should surrender its sovereignty for some security is bad enough. In this case, what good does it do to keep out terrorists from the Middle East, if murderers, robbers, and rapists can move about freely from other parts of Europe into the U.K.? After all, what difference does it make if killers, thugs, and other criminals are from Syria or Poland?
Hopefully, Americans will learn the lesson of what has happened to our friends in Britain because they have joined an “economic” alliance that has steadily eroded British sovereignty and security. What began as a coal and steel trade agreement (the EU) has now evolved into an increasingly authoritarian European super-state. And the imports aren’t all packaged goods, but also include thousands of hardened criminals.
Steve Byas is a professor of history at Randall University.