Ailing Brussels staggered ever closer to its own grave with the announcement that the flagship Schengen agreement, for so long thought indispensable, is being shelved because of the refugee chaos. Nations are now set to reimpose border controls for the first time in more than 30 years, effectively killing off Brussels’ dream of creating a European superstate to rival America and China.A number of EU heavy hitters have lined up in recent weeks to warn that Schengen was vital to the survival of the 28-nation bloc, which is paralysed by indecision and facing extinction over its failure to control the flow of millions of migrants into the continent. But leaders, under pressure from increasingly Eurosceptic electorates have ignored their pleas, and the landmark free movement agreement is now set to be suspended for at least two years.The decision, taken yesterday by European interior ministers, is a huge blow to the whole concept of the EU which has described Schengen as its “biggest ever achievement”.Klaas Dijkhoff, the Dutch migration minister who chaired acrimonious talks in Amsterdam, announced the decision to trigger Article 26 of the Schengen rules which allows border controls to be extended.He said: “Currently, the temporary border measures can be taken only for a period of six months.”But the unprecedented influx of asylum seekers, which compelled member states to take these measures nationally, has not decreased yet.“Member states invited the commission to prepare the legal and practical basis for the continuance of temporary border measures through article 26 of the Schengen border code.”
After the meeting, a gloomy EU official said: “If border controls were allowed to remain for two years, it is difficult to see that they would ever be removed.”Most member states are already keen to take back control of their own borders.Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Slovenia, Hungary and Croatia have all scrapped passport-free travel in the last few months. But official confirmation Brussels bureaucrats’ cherished dream is dead will come as the bitterest of blows because it fatally undermines the entire concept of the European project. The revelation comes after it emerged yesterday that other EU leaders want to kick Greece out of Schengen to save their own skins from the four million migrants headed to Europe this year.Countries including Belgium, Austria and Sweden want to seal the country’s northern border to stop migrants from heading north, effectively trapping millions inside the impoverished Mediterranean nation. They feel that Greek authorities have not done enough to stop migrants crossing over from Turkey, or to detain and register them before they head northwards towards Germany and Scandinavia. But Greek interior minister Yiannis Mouzalas protested: “It is very difficult to stop small boats coming except sinking or shooting them, which is against our European values and Greek values and we will not do that. “To add insult to injury they are also plotting to trample over the Greek parliament and build a series of huge super prisons in the country, which would house more than 300,000 migrants while they wait for their asylum applications to be processed. Athens is likely to strongly object to the plan, but its bargaining position is weak because of its ongoing reliance on other European countries to keep its economy afloat with bailout cash.
Last night, Home Secretary Theresa May welcomed the decision to scrap the free movement zone, saying: “We’re not part of Schengen, but we continue to look at ways in which we can work with other countries in the EU to strengthen our external border. ”This week the European Commission supported a plan to create a “second line of defence” for Europe’s external frontier in Macedonia, putting up huge fences and stationing border guards to cut Greece off from the rest of the continent. Angela Merkel is in particular coming under increasing pressure to get tough on immigration as Germany reels from the consequences of mass migration. The country has taken in more than a million migrants so far, but a series of controversies culminating in the horrific Cologne sex attacks has hardened public opinion against Mrs Merkel’s controversial open door asylum policy.
Schengen disaster WILL mean end for Euro, says Junker
“Without Schengen, free movement of workers, without freedom of European citizens to travel, the Euro makes no sense”
And does Cameron STILL want us tied to this sinking wreck?