Britain’s Justice Secretary Michael Gove says his department has been emasculated by EU rules which bar him from putting a stop to terror suspects’ entry into the United Kingdom.
Gove, who backs a ‘Leave’ vote in Britain’s upcoming referendum on the UK’s future in the European bloc, said he “experienced frustration” at the British government’s “inability to refuse entry to those with a criminal record and even some who are suspected of terrorist links.”
His remarks came after the UK’s Home Office faced criticism for lax security along the country’s coastline that allows people smugglers to bring refugees into the country.
Gove also stressed that a vote to leave the bloc would even “liberate” Prime Minister David Cameron and allow him to get back to his election promises to reduce the number of immigrants to tens of thousands.
“The only way he can fulfill that pledge is by leaving the EU. He’s the Prime Minister who sets policy, he will set policy on 23 June but we just want to liberate him to be able to fulfill the manifesto pledge we all stood on,” he said.
“It is straightforwardly the case that we cannot control our borders in the European Union,” Gove added.
Gove further noted that some 77,000 people came from the EU to Britain last year without having a job offer, “these weren’t people that our economy needed.”
The UK can only restore control if it leaves the EU, noted Gove, adding that there is no chance of controlling the numbers of people who get into the country from within the bloc.
British voters will decide whether to leave or stay in the EU on June 23.
The British prime minister and most of his cabinet are trying to convince Britons to vote against leaving the bloc, but about half of his MPs support the so-called Brexit.
The prime minister has consistently warned Brexiters, saying an exit poses economic risks to the country and can undermine the UK’s security.
Those who support an EU withdrawal, on the other hand, argue that it would allow the UK to be better able to control immigration, conduct its own trade negotiations, and break free from what they believe to be unnecessary EU regulations and bureaucracy.