As the EU and Turkey outline a deal designed to ease the migrant crisis, are the proposals a good idea?

The deal will see one Syrian migrant given asylum for each one returned (Source: Getty)

Diego Zuluaga, who works for the Institute of Economic Affairs and European think tank EpiCenter, says Yes.

The ongoing migrant crisis threatens to permanently end borderless travel within a large part of the EU, and to critically undermine the free movement of labour in Europe. Both are of great economic benefit to EU citizens and should be cherished. The deal tentatively reached yesterday is therefore a step in the right direction. If implemented, it will help to end the chaos on the Greek islands by providing for migrant arrivals to be returned to Turkey, at least temporarily. Furthermore, it will address the migrants’ plight by ensuring that, for every migrant who is returned, one will be granted asylum in the EU. The deal is also likely to have some beneficial side effects, namely easing visa restrictions on Turkish citizens and re-opening EU membership talks. While much remains uncertain, given some EU member countries’ opposition to migrant quotas as well as lingering tensions between Turkey and Cyprus, there is reason to be hopeful about the outcome achieved yesterday.

Steven Woolfe MEP, Ukip’s spokesman on migration and financial affairs, says No.

The EU has capitulated to an increasingly authoritarian Turkish government which is taking steps to stifle freedom of the press and alter the country’s constitution to create a one-party state, and is using excessive force against its Kurdish population. The price extracted by the Turkish government for returning migrants to their shores will see the EU covering the cost, allowing Turkish citizens visa-free access to the Schengen area by June, and accelerating negotiations to admit Turkey as a member of the EU. It is disgraceful that the EU and our Prime Minister have been held to ransom in this way. Turkey’s inevitable membership of the EU, the process towards which is now accelerating as a result of this deal, will put UK national security at risk. The only way we protect ourselves from the thousands of Isis-sponsored terrorists that are roaming free in Turkey is by voting for Brexit. It is the only way we will get back control of our borders.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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