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Vote Leave’s Turkey Fear

by Sam Ashworth-Hayes | 05.05.2016

Be afraid. Be very afraid. “Britain’s new border is with Syria and Iraq”, Vote Leave has warned its Twitter followers, brandishing an alarming graphic (see below). The message is seriously misleading.

Vote Leave Twitter Graphic

Assuming that it is implemented, the EU’s deal allowing Turks freer travel will only cover the Schengen area.Turkish citizens, visiting for up to 90 days, won’t need a visa to visit Schengen member countries. But the UK and Ireland – the only country we share a land border with – have opted out of Schengen. If Turks are allowed into Schengen countries, we will not be affected.
Turkish visitors to the UK will still need visas. Like European tourists, they will still need to pass through UK border controls, presenting a passport at a security check. Moreover, one of the conditions for the deal is that Turkish authorities beef up the security features in their passports, bringing them up to EU standards by October.

Turkey would not be unique in having the right to visa-free visits. The EU already grants similar access to South Korea and Israel, which by Vote Leave’s logic means we already border North Korea and Syria–apparently without being overrun by citizens of either country. For that matter, the UK has its own deals with South Korea and Israel, too. Not for the first time, an EU institution is being attacked for doing something that the UK also does.

Vote Leave declined to comment. 

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Edited by Sebastian Mallaby

5 Responses to “Vote Leave’s Turkey Fear”

  • The quitters do not have a “project hope”. No! They have “PROJECT PARANOIA”: everybody is conspiring to bring down the UK (see and read the ridicolous Telegraph article by Deacon) implying that also the warning from Japan’s PM (mocked with his name on the article itself – another “good diplomatic point scoring” by the quitters) Shinzo Abe had been fabricated by 10 Downing Street. WOW!!! Is the UK PM so powerful to pass statements to foreign leaders just to read (USA and Japan, for now)? Or more realistically, if brexit would have been an advantage for those countries (plus others like China, India, Australia, EU ones, etc), they would have never have accepted to “read” 10 Downing Street pre-compiled “warning”. Paranoia, simple and utter paranoia. If brexit would have been advantageous for Japan, Shinzo Abe would have at least remained silent (but definitely not spoken in support of Uk remaining in UK).

  • Sensational: I can reveal this as a pro-brexit revelation. I just came to have seen minutes from the EU Commission regarding Darth Vader from the Death Star wanting the UK to remain in the EU so that he and his Empire of the Dark Side of the Force can better control the Federation of planets from Brussels (also obviously the UK).
    (Source Daily Star wars Express)

  • We should not overplay Turkish accession, not visa-free travel, as an issue but we should not ignore it either. Visa-free travel arrangements can be made with Turkey or any other country – preferably whose nationals can be relied upon to leave when requested and not go into hiding and work illegally, or organise plots to blow us all sky high. Unfortunately, as with the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, the law in Turkey means exactly what they choose it to mean and 90 days has nothing to do with it. Nor does journalistic freedom.

    However, the Prime Minister at the Liaison Committee on Wednesday, 04.05.16 was patronisingly dismissive about the possibility of Turkish accession and implied it should not influence a vote to remain as it won’t happen for 10-15 years I think he said. I could still be alive in 15 years’ time when, if Turkey is admitted, the EU will no longer be European and will not be a Union.

    I am not alone. If you go to http://www.parliament.uk/documents/lords-committees/eu-select/MinisterforEurope/ucEUC160419ev1.pdf and look at the evidence given by David Lidington to the Lords EU Select Committee on 19.04.16, you can see from question 8 on page 14 that Baroness Falkner of Margravine is similarly concerned. This may be where the BREXITEERs got the catchphrase about moving the borders of the EU to Syria but it was not in the context of visa-free travel.

    David Lidington is a good minister who works hard on triangulating the PM’s triangulations in the EU debate. He deserves a Knighthood for his patience, transparency and accountability during the trials and stresses he has faced since the EU Referendum Bill started in Parliament. He gives an answer at length to Baroness Falkner and Baroness Suttie that appears to imply Britain thinks its NATO interests are served by having EU Borders so far east as Jordan, Syria and Iraq with Turkey in the EU – even if not for many years because of the number of chapters in the acquis Turkey still has to open and close – human rights being its biggest challenge.

    If the Government were to offer the British people a referendum lock on Turkish accession if all the chapters appear to be complete, I would vote remain with much more assurance than I do now.

  • We should not overplay Turkish accession, not visa-free travel, as an issue but we should not ignore it either. Visa-free travel arrangements can be made with Turkey or any other country – preferably whose nationals can be relied upon to leave when requested and not go into hiding and work illegally, or organise plots to blow.