Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond causes outrage after suggesting African migrants threaten UK’s ‘standard of living’

Foreign Secretary suggests African migrants threaten UK's 'standard of living'
Philip Hammond (Picture: Getty Images)

The foreign secretary has caused outrage by suggesting that ‘marauding’ African migrants are a threat to Britain’s standard of living and ‘social structure’.

In what critics called ‘inflammatory’ remarks, Philip Hammond said it was the UK’s ‘number one priority’ to return illegal asylum seekers back to their countries of origin.

He insisted that Europe cannot absorb ‘millions’ of Africans and called for EU laws to be overhauled and security at Calais to be ramped up.

‘So long as there are large numbers of pretty desperate migrants marauding around the area there will always be a threat to the [Channel] tunnel’s security,’ he said in Singapore.

‘As long as the European Union’s laws are the way they are, many of them will only have to set foot in Europe to be pretty confident that they will never be returned to their country of origin.

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Migrants stand next to tents in the "New Jungle" in Calais on June 17, 2015 near the ferry port of Calais, northern France. Around 3000 migrants built makeshift shelters before to try to pass in England.  AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants stand next to tents in the ‘New Jungle’ in Calais (Picture: PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

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‘Now, that is not a sustainable situation because Europe can’t protect itself and preserve its standard of living and social structure if it has to absorb millions of migrants from Africa.

‘We have got to be able to resolve this problem ultimately by being able to return those who are not entitled to claim asylum back to their countries of origin. That’s our number one priority.’

A spokesman for the British-based Asylum Aid charity said: ‘We totally condemn Hammond’s inaccurate and inflammatory statements. It is simply not true that “millions of Africans” are coming to Europe or that they represent a threat.

‘The majority of the refugees arriving on European shores in the last year have come from countries that are at war, in conflict or under dictatorship.’

About 5,000 migrants are currently camped in Calais.

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9 August 2015 | 9:21 pm – Source: metro.co.uk

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