Tim Blair


New Criterion



Thursday, September 23, 2004
MICHAEL FOLLOWS JOHN, to the Australian solution.

We will decide who comes to Britain, asserts Tory leader Michael Howard, on behalf of a government that is unlikely to be elected within six years.
each year Parliament should set a maximum limit on the number of people coming to Britain, just as they do in Australia. That limit should be determined by Britain's economic needs, the demands of family reunion and our moral obligation to give refuge to those fleeing persecution.
Apart from its 150 000+ legal migrants each year, well ahead of policy targets, Britain has 250 000 failed asylum seekers who have also failed to leave.

Michael Howard has promised to pull out of the Geneva Convention on Refugees, leading the UKIP party to accuse the Tory of plagiarism.

Howard's first job would be to decide who leaves Britain, and to do that he needs to restore embarkation controls on those leaving for EU countries.

Britain's Tories are not the only ones studying the Australian solution. In Germany Interior Minister Schily is pressing ahead with plans for camps in North Africa to hold 'asylum-seekers', despite the vehement opposition of the Green side of the Red-Green government. Schily is getting a sympathetic hearing in Italy, however, where the waves of North African economic refugees first break.

Schily recently revived a British proposal that camps be established in the Ukraine to hold Russian refugees, most of them from Chechnya.

It is likely Schily's policy will be implemented by the next, conservative, German government.