Tony Abbott urges Europe to turn back asylum seeker boats

Tony Abbott urges Europe to turn back asylum seeker boats

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has used his first public address since being booted from office, to encourage European countries to adopt Australia’s tough border protection measures.

Mr Abbott has addressed the Margaret Thatcher lecture in London this morning, focusing on the European migrant crisis.

Addressing an audience of mainly Tory and Conservative UK politicians, he said Europe’s willingness to open it’s borders to all asylum seekers was a catastrophic error.

“No country or continent can open its borders to all comers without fundamentally weakening itself,” he said.

Mr Abbott said while Europe has an obligation to accept humanitarian refugees from Syria and other war torn nations, many of the people making their way in to Europe are economic migrants.

“That’s why the countries of Europe, while absolutely obliged to support the countries neighbouring the Syrian conflict, are more-than-entitled to control their borders against those who are no longer fleeing conflict but seeking a better life,” he said.

“This means turning boats around for people coming by sea, it means denying entry at the border for people with no legal right to come, and its means establishing camps for people who currently have no where to go.”

Mr Abbott has also called for more action to counter the ideology behind extremist groups, such as the Islamic State.

He said while there is a lack of public appetite for escalating involvement in the Middle East, there is a need for increased military action.

“Leaving anywhere, even Syria, to the collective determination of Iran, Russia and Dash [Islamic State] should be too horrible to contemplate,” he said.

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 1729 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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