Turkey has ‘blackmailed’ Britain over the migrant crisis into backing its EU membership which would open the door to 77 million people, Tory MPs claim
Minister forced to deny claim millions of Turks will be allowed to come to UK
Sir Edward Leigh demanded a tougher stand on Turkey’s EU membership
Concerns raised over human rights and freedom of speech record
By TIM SCULTHORPE, MAILONLINE DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR
9 March 2016
Britain has been ‘blackmailed’ over the migrant crisis into helping secure Turkey’s EU membership which would open the border to 77 million people.
Eurosceptic Tories warned quitting the EU would be the only way to make sure Britain was not trapped into supporting free movement for Turkish citizens.
Former cabinet minister Liam Fox had earlier [but not as early as Patria] warned the millions of migrants who had already reached Europe’s shores could eventually become EU citizens and gain the right to move to Britain.
The row exploded in the Commons today amid growing concern over a deal struck with Turkey to help ease the migrant crisis.
Europe Minister David Lidington dismissed the concerns, insisting any accession deal with Turkey was years away and free movement would be subject to negotiations.
But Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh said concerns over human rights and the protection of freedom of speech should veto any current application.
He said: ‘You have been absolutely clear today it is Her Majesty’s Government’s considered opinion that Turkey should be a member of the EU.
‘Apparently we’ve allowed ourselves to be blackmailed into progressing this now.
‘Given the closure of the main opposition paper this week, Zaman, can you confirm as a matter of fact that once Turkey joins the EU – because the EU believes so passionately in the free movement of people – all 77 million Turks will be allowed to come and work here and live here without any check or opposition at all and there’s nothing we can do about it.’
Peter Bone, Tory MP for Wellingborough, said: ‘The British people can only be certain that 77 million Turkish citizens won’t have the right to come to this country… if we vote to come out of the European Union.’
Mr Lidington insisted: ‘We’re not yet at the point where anything has been finally agreed and the Prime Minister will make a statement after next week’s European Council.
‘The support for Turkey eventually joining the European Union is an objective that’s been shared by Conservative and Labour governments alike since before I was in the House of Commons.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3484445/Turkey-blackmailed-Britain-migrant-crisis-backing-EU-membership-open-door-77-million-people-Tory-MPs-claim.html#ixzz42VOzQmGG