UKIP Defence Spokesman speaks out on behalf of Afghan interpreters
UKIP defence spokesman Mike Hookem MEP has called for Afghan interpreters who worked with the British Army to be given priority to apply for asylum, saying they "should not be left to suffer at the hands of Islamic extremists".
Mr Hookem said there were "legal channels for those people who are in danger because of their work with British forces to get to a safe country and apply to live in the UK."
"At the very least, we should be extending the same rights to former Afghan interpreters as those already in place for their Iraqi colleagues. Surely the UK can also demand that other EU countries honour a fast track system for those who greatly aided NATO forces in a time of conflict."
"Back in 2013 Mr Hammond, as Defence Secretary, offered these people the right to come to the UK, telling Parliament that they had played a 'vital role' in a stable Afghanistan.
"Sadly, despite all those lives being lost, Afghanistan is a long way from being stable and prosperous and there are people who – as we have seen today with the murder of the man known as Popal – are running for their lives."
"It is shocking that those who extended the hand of friendship to British forces in Afghanistan are having to resort to paying people traffickers to try to get to the UK. I have seen with my own eyes how easy it is for these criminal gangsters to come and go as they please into Britain because they are now registered residents in an EU country and how poorly they treat migrants under their control."
"Britain used to have a proud history of helping those in genuine need, especially people who have greatly assisted this nation in times of conflict. However, these days our governments prefer open borders to EU citizens with criminal records."
"However, I also urge a note of caution into this debate by saying anyone applying to the UK needs to be properly vetted to make sure they are genuine and will be loyal to the United Kingdom, as we cannot have our hospitality being abused by those who wish us harm."