Refugees coming to the UK aren't escaping the troubles they leave behind, says Tory MEP

Geoffrey Van Orden says immigration is 'the root of many of the difficulties' in Europe

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A Conservative MEP has said refugees “are not escaping those things they want to leave behind” when coming to Europe, and Britain “should definitely not” be accepting any more.

Geoffrey Van Orden, the MEP for the East of England region, said he believed the UK had not demonstrated that it had the capabilities to give refugees a “fresh chance”.

The 71-year-old, who is the Conservative’s spokesman for Defence and Security policy at the European Parliament, told The Independent that immigration was “the root of many of the difficulties” across the continent.

“You are taking people out of a difficult area and bringing them to a country where the culture is entirely different and the language is different everything about it is entirely differently,” Mr Van Orden told The Independent.

“The trouble is too rapidly many of them are drawn back into a culture within our country which is sustaining the problems they had before. In other words, they are not escaping those things they want to leave behind they are finding exactly the same things in parts of our own country as well.”

When asked if we Britain should take more refugees, Mr Van Orden, who is a former senior British Army officer, replied “definitely not”.

“We only have to look at some of the difficulties that we have in many of our societies now on the whole migration issue. We have a very long tradition of accepting genuine refugees coming from personal persecution and giving them shelter, sometimes temporary,” Mr Van Orden said.

“What we are finding is that large numbers of people coming from cultures and societies which are not only economically very disparate but also culturally very separate.

“We cannot go on like that. It is the root cause of many of the difficulties that we had in many European countries at the moment and we are seeing a revolt against that,” he added.

Mr Van Orden also told The Independent ​that the majority of refugees were not coming from Syria. 

"They’re coming from all over the place. If we look at the world there are probably two billion people out there living in poor countries in oppressive countries and they’d all love to come in live somewhere like Europe. Clearly, that is neither possible nor desirable.”

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