UKIP is WRONG to say EU freedom of movement is to blame for Brussels bombings

After the attacks in Brussels, people are sharing this cartoon to show solidarity with the people of Belgium [Imaged: Le Monde].

After the attacks in Brussels, people are sharing this cartoon to show solidarity with the people of Belgium [Imaged: Le Monde].

Vox Political extends its sympathies to the people of Brussels after the bomb attacks at Zaventem international airport and Maalbeek metro station.

But UKIP’s Mike Hookem is wrong to say that the Schengen ‘free movement’ zone and lax border controls are responsible.

He was quoting concerns raised by Europol head Rob Wainwright that 5,000 “jihadists” may be “at large in the EU”.

But Mr Wainwright made it clear that he was discussing EU nationals who had returned to their country of origin after attending terrorist training camps.

The EU’s ‘free movement’ rule had nothing to do with the return of these people to their countries of origin.

Mr Hookem and his party would be better-off concentrating on some of the real problems with the UK’s EU membership – rather than basing a hysterical and cynical attack on another country’s tragedy.

European Union freedom of movement rules bear some responsibility for Tuesday explosions in Brussels, Ukip’s defence spokesperson has suggested.

Mike Hookem said the attacks illustrated that freedom of movement in the bloc was “a threat to our security”.

At least 13 people have reportedly been killed on Tuesday morning in two explosions at Zaventem international airport and one at Maalbeek metro station.

“I am appalled at the loss of life and injuries. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those killed and injured,” the MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber said.

“This horrific act of terrorism shows that Schengen free movement and lax border controls are a threat to our security.”

Mr Hookem said 5,000 “jihadists” were “at large in the EU having slipped in from Syria” – citing concerns raised last month by the head of Europol Rob Wainwright.

Source: Brussels explosions: Ukip says bombings show EU freedom of movement is a ‘security threat’ | UK Politics | News | The Independent

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27 thoughts on “UKIP is WRONG to say EU freedom of movement is to blame for Brussels bombings

    1. Barry Davies

      The casual refusal to accept the likelihood of the the people responsible abusing the open borders because you don’t like the party, or the stance of people you disagree with someone is juvenile.

      1. Martin Odoni

        And seeing that the people responsible are already native to Belgium, it’s difficult to see how the ‘open borders’ have made all that much difference.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        That is not a valid argument. Don’t try to attack another commenter; it simply shows that you don’t have anything better to say.

  1. mohandeer

    The Chechen DAESH rats started making their way towards Russia before September 2015 and the reason we (the EU) is being targeted is because we have been hitting DAESH targets over in Syria and the Saudis/Turkish regime leaders want us to hate ALL Muslims to destabilize the EU. They want to punish us for not being on board with the slaughter of Yemenis and Kurds and generally cause us to fear so that we will fall in line with the anti Muslim rhetoric and leave Syria to them. Fear is the best tool DAESH have hiding behind women’s skirts wherever possible. They fled amidst the refugees but are a fraction of the total. UKIP really are becoming demonstrably Islamaphobic and bigoted in their desperation to take us out of the EU. Whilst I loathe being in the EU and despise the thought of TTIP being considered, this has nothing to do with the refugees or migrants and I will still vote to stay in. UKIP is losing more credibility every day.

    1. David

      A complicated world. The last I heard was that there were many more more muslims killed by muslims than by Christians or any other religion. I fear that, despite the existence of many, probably a huge majority of muslims, the muslim high command, primarily Islamic State, probably funded by Saudi Arabia, hate Europe and aim to bring it to its knees. Their chosen way forward is though war and terror. There have been some appalling, well organised and successful attacks attacks on and in the west since 9/11. Think, too, of resurgent violent islamic groups in Africa. We are now facing serious, coordinated jihad, not just a few random strikes.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        There is no Muslim high command. They fight among themselves, pretty much as Catholic and Protestant Christians have warred in the past.

      2. Martin Odoni

        “the muslim high command, primarily Islamic State, probably funded by Saudi Arabia, hate Europe and aim to bring it to its knees.”

        People need to stop propagating this myth. Wahhabist movements are not terribly interested in Europe for its own sake. What they want is to ‘de-Westernise’ the Middle East.

  2. Joan Edington

    Much as I sympathise with the people of Brussels, I can’t help but despise the media’s use of these images, as with the Je Suis Charlie in Paris, when they totally ignore similar bombings in Istanbul and Ankara. The UK et al are quite happy to go to the Turkish holiday resorts but aren’t supposed to consider the population as people just like them.

  3. wonkotsane

    Way to miss the point. Open borders lets them move around freely and without ID or passport checks. ISIS said they were sending terrorists disguised as refugees, several have been caught before they’ve blown stuff up, several more have been identified having blown themselves and others up. Terrorists are in Europe and once they’re here they can move around freely. There are no border checkpoints, no passport controls – once they get to one Schengen country they’re free to move around them all.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No, the point is that the people doing the terrorism, according to Europol, are EU citizens. There is no way to stop them coming in because those European countries are their home. Even if there was passport control within the Schengen zone, there would be no reason to stop someone from one European country travelling to another.

      Daesh can say anything at all – it doesn’t mean it is true.

      Terrorists have always been in Europe and the best way to catch them is by good detective work – not by fussing about something that doesn’t make a blind bit of difference.

      1. Barry Davies

        But as we are all aware the perpetrators of the Paris attack fled to Belgium and had free access to do that, it is just as likely that anyone involved in these bombings if still alive will by now be in another schengen nation.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Okay, let’s have some facts: The perpetrators of the Brussels attack were Belgian citizens so the absence of Schengen would not have stopped them getting in. And Belgium is now in lockdown, meaning there is no free movement across borders and the airport is, of course, closed.

      3. wonkotsane

        The people who perpetrated the attacks weren’t Belgian by birth, they were immigrants. Let’s just make that clear first. Let’s also make clear that they were known to the security services. Let’s also make clear that the security services were unable to track their movements because they were able to freely move between EU countries with no border checks. Let’s also make very clear that the suspected ringleader for the Paris attacks who was arrested at the weekend came to Europe claiming to be a refugee like some of the Parish attackers.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        On what are you basing your claim that they are immigrants? Their names?
        Let’s also make clear that the authorities have been criticised for failing to track these people, despite having ample opportunity to do so.
        As for the Paris attack ringleader, don’t change the subject. This is about Brussels.

  4. madpam

    It is true, the reality is that people can move around freely and no one even knows what country they are in. Fifty years after sending a man to the moon we cant even track who is coming in or out of a country. Pathetic. Even if people were born there you need to stable population to track people, with some many people wandering all over the place it is not possible to have any ideas how many people are in a country. We used to take a Census to enable us to plan schools, housing,hospital care according to projected demographic needs, all of that has been thrown out of the window.The result is chaos.Anyone who can’t see that is in denial.

  5. Michael Broadhurst

    we must know where their so called high command are holed up in whatever countries.we should mobilise all European countries military,and go in boots on the ground and blast them to kingdom come.
    the time for pussyfooting around this problem has to end.

    1. Martin Odoni

      Wow, what a fluent, insightful supporting case you’ve put forward there! Six whole words expressing agreement. Not a single letter devoted to explaining *why* UKIP are ‘right’, but hey, mustn’t quibble. Yes, you’ve clearly won this argument hands down with this in-depth analysis…

      Ah hang on, I’ve thought of a counter; –

      UKIP are wrong, and usually are.

      Actually that wasn’t very difficult. Stalemate.

      Sorry for the sarcasm, but really, just saying, “I agree with such-and-such” and then not elaborating is a complete waste of time. It also gives a bad impression, as it implies that you’re not really thinking for yourself.

      UKIP *are* wrong, as they’re being misleading and manipulative in a very tasteless way. What happened in Brussels adds nothing to the case for leaving the EU. Daesh’s threat may be international, but it tends to recruit natives of the countries it attacks. If the UK is struck by Daesh, it will almost certainly be by British citizens. Closing borders to the EU won’t offer much of a hindrance therefore.

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