CHRIS GREEN MP: Getting back to the basics of politics
Prime Minister’s Questions are always a peculiar experience to sit through. The mood of the House of Commons often reflects the mood of the country and the contributions from the dispatch boxes often serve to highlight the competing arguments and interests.
Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak, over the last two sessions, have transformed the cut and thrust that we saw when Boris Johnson was Prime Minister but I suspect that it is going to revert to type.
As leaders often do, David Cameron, when he became Prime Minister, said that he would make PMQs more constructive and uplifting. This claimed desire soon fizzled out when political reality crept in.
The context for the argument between the current Prime Minister and his shadow is the looming threat of recession, war in Europe, recovery from the Covid lockdowns and an inability to control illegal immigration across the English Channel.
We cannot determine the outcome of the war between Russia and Ukraine but we can work to bring a peaceful resolution. Whilst it rages and has such a terrible impact on local people, the reverberations are felt around much of the world.
It has led to a spike in the cost of living and wider challenges of accommodating many Ukrainian refugees from their war-torn country.
The wider concerns about immigration and refugees were at the heart of this week’s PMQs but, despite what is selectively shown on television, the significant majority of people fleeing from France across the English Channel are grown men.
A large proportion of whom are from Albania which has now started negotiations with the European Union about becoming a member.
It is not war-torn, has a good standard of living and many British people go on holiday their every year.
It is estimated that over one per cent of the adult male population of Albania is now in the UK seeking refugee status.
Some EU countries refuse to accept any refugee claim from Albania and so neither should we.
By bringing refugees from French territorial waters, the UK Border Force and RNLI have made themselves part of the criminal gangs’ business model.
They know that they just have to get a group of young men to each hand over thousands of pounds to get them in a dingy and a little offshore before they will be ‘rescued’ and brought to England.
This saves a huge amount of time, money and risk for the gangs and helps feed a criminal underworld in the UK.
Whilst some are making a fortune from ill-gotten gains, the Bank of England is hiking up interest rates, and has predicted that we are heading into the longest recession for 100 years.
With unemployment expecting to shoot up, we are going to have a tough time especially over this coming winter. Rather than having leaky borders we should be battening down the hatches for the storms ahead.