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 Full text 
Tuesday, 2 February 2016 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Refugee emergency, external borders control and future of Schengen - Respect for the international principle of non-refoulement - Financing refugee facility for Turkey - Increased racist hatred and violence against refugees and migrants across Europe (debate)

  Richard Ashworth (ECR). Madam President, listening to this debate, can I suggest, colleagues, to us all: we have got a problem. We need to be more precise in the language that we use. I hear the word ‘migrant’ used to describe people fleeing war and persecution. These are not migrants; these are genuine refugees, people to whom we can and must offer refuge.

I have heard the word ‘migrant’ used to describe people from all parts of the world coming to Europe in search of a better life. These are not migrants; these are economic migrants, and they are people who invariably have no lawful claim to residence here.

Finally, I have heard the word migrant applied to Europeans who live or work in a European country not of their birth. These are not migrants; they are European citizens exercising the right of free movement, something they are perfectly entitled to do. Colleagues, if we are not more precise in our language, not only are we confusing the public, but I suspect at times we confuse ourselves as well.

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