Lee Anderson Column: This new legislation will help to tackle illegal crossings of The Channel
Politicians are often accused of being out of touch with the rest of the country and, in many ways, that was proven correct both locally and nationally last week.
I voted to reduce the amount of foreign aid we pay in from 0.7 per cent of GDP to 0.5 per cent and fortunately the vote passed.
Locally the leader of the Ashfield Independents disagreed with my decision, stating it was ‘short-sighted’ but my job is to represent the people of Ashfield and Eastwood, not local politicians who are out of touch with the electorate or MPs stuck in the ‘Westminster Bubble’.
We have a simple choice to make: we either invest heavily in our own country to create jobs to strengthen the economy or we can take a different path which will see us give money away that we simply do not have.
I say charity begins at home and, when we get back on our feet, we can look at the situation again.
This week in Parliament sees the much-awaited Borders Bill, which will put a stop to the illegal Channel crossings.
Let’s be clear, these young men crossing the Channel are not fleeing some war-torn country. The last time I looked France was a safe country.
They are economic migrants paying vast sums of money to people traffickers on the promise of a better life in the UK and who can blame them?
But the UK has become a soft touch as our asylum laws are not fit for purpose. This new legislation will put right the wrongs of previous years.
It will stop people from claiming asylum in the UK if they have passed through a safe country. I suspect most people in Ashfield will support this move.
You may recall a few weeks ago that Ashfield District Council’s new private environmental enforcement team gave a £100 fine for littering to a deaf 80-year-man who dropped a sweet wrapper while taking a face mask out of his coat pocket.
A lady within the Ashfield constituency is the latest victim. She placed two carrier bags of weeds in front of her gate ready to go into the dustbin and an enforcement officer gave another £100 fine for fly-tipping. I will appeal this latest fine. If ADC does not rescind it, I will pay it myself.