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 Full text 
Wednesday, 17 July 2019 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Humanitarian assistance in the Mediterranean (debate)

  Matthew Patten (NI). – Mr President, thank you for allowing me to catch your eye. It seems to me that this is one of the most complex and challenging issues that the EU faces currently, and there is no right answer for it. At the moment it seems that there is a clash between what Europe wants and what individual nations need. Only by the new policy addressing all of these things will we be able to resolve it.

We absolutely have to do more in Africa, but we have to make sure we reward the right people, not the wrong people. The second thing is we must absolutely have strong borders but, when people arrive in Europe, what we see is chaos. And so we must make sure that our own systems of processing migrants, returning those who need to go back, go back, but those who are allowed to stay can stay. In doing that, we must absolutely support the national countries who are having to face that – and I think of places like Italy and Greece and the local communities who are really struggling to deal with it on behalf of the rich countries.

The third thing, or the final thing that we must do is we must make ‘if you want to do it, all the nations will have to pay’. It won’t be the UK, because we’re leaving, but it is going to be very, very expensive and you will all have to pay.

Last updated: 29 July 2019Legal notice