Ukip calls for homeless or unemployed EU citizens to be deported after Brexit

Unemployed or homeless European nationals should be sent back to their country of origin, Gerard Batten says

Tom Batchelor
Monday 27 March 2017 20:13 BST
MEP Gerard Batten, who made the comments during the party's Brexit relaunch
MEP Gerard Batten, who made the comments during the party's Brexit relaunch (Getty)

Ukip’s Brexit spokesman has said the Government should be able to deport EU citizens who do not work or pay taxes once Britain leaves the EU.

In an apparent departure from a policy of guaranteeing all EU nationals the right to remain in the UK after Brexit, which is widely accepted even among leading Brexiteers, Gerard Batten said strict new controls should be introduced.

He suggested those who were out of work or homeless should be sent back to their country of origin.

“What the British Government should do is write to every one of the other 27 EU member states and say we will guarantee your citizens’ rights if you guarantee our citizens’ rights,” he was quoted by The Guardian as saying.

“So, for example, in Poland we have about 30-odd thousand people and they have about 900,000 here. So why wouldn’t they do that?

“But I think that is the way the Government needs to approach things on a country by country basis in order to protect our citizens’ rights so we also protect their rights."

But he added: “We must also have the right not to keep people who for example do not work, never pay taxes or are beggars or criminals.

“I think it is an idiotic immigration policy that says we will take anybody irrespective of what value they may or may not produce to our country.”

Mr Batten is no stranger to controversy. Last week the London MEP published a blog post in the wake of the Westminster attack in which he called Islam “a death cult, born and steeped in fourteen hundred years of violence and bloodshed, that propagates itself by intimidation, violence and conquest”.

Equality campaigners were quick to condemn the comments as “deeply insulting and highly inflammatory”.

A spokesperson for Hope Not Hate told The Independent: “Even for UKIP and Gerard Batten, this is shocking and disgusting.

“The ideologues of the Islamic State who inspired Khalid Masood could hardly be more pleased that fools like Batten walk right into their trap: terror attacks aren’t just about killing people, they’re about sowing fear, suspicion and division.”

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Meanwhile, the party’s leader, Paul Nuttall, has said Ukip will undergo a major rebranding exercise that could include abandoning the purple and yellow colours and pound sign from its logo.

“Everything is up for debate,” Mr Nuttall said.

The new look for the party, which is struggling to maintain its relevance after the Brexit vote, will be unveiled at the annual conference in Devon in September.

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