Our Man In Westminster MP Damian Collins
We have all been shocked by the terror attacks carried out in Paris last Friday, and we stand together with the families of the victims, and the people of France, in our horror at these atrocities.
The terrible deaths of innocent people, caused by terrorists acting in the name of Islamic State, followed their recent downing of a Russian airline in Egypt and a series of explosions on the streets of Beirut. Over 400 people have lost their lives through these three attacks. The intentions of Islamic State to take any opportunity to export their war of hate are clear for all to see. Their cause is not based on any one grievance or territorial dispute, but hatred of the freedom, education, tolerance and openness of a western society that they want to destroy. We have to confront the dangers that they present to our lives, and those of the peoples of Europe and the Middle East.
These tragic events cause us to reflect on what we are doing, at home and abroad to protect our communities from this threat. As Folkestone is home to the Channel Tunnel, issues of border security will always be important to us. Last week I met with Eurotunnel, and they assured me that since the latest deployment of specialist French forces, in addition to the investment made by our government in high security fencing, that there has been a big improvement in security at the tunnel entrance at Coquelles. The Prime Minister has also announced that the government will be increasing the resources available for border security and our counter terrorism intelligence services.
The murders in Paris, co-ordinated across multiple locations, clearly required a considerable amount of planning. We need to look at the use of email and the internet generally by terrorists in plotting and carrying out their attacks. If we have good reason to believe that people are using technology to plot terror, then our security forces should have the right to look at what they are doing.
We need to deal with the root cause of the problem, which comes from the Islamic State controlled areas of Iraq and Syria. In these lands they have not only murdered thousands of people, and driven even more from their homes, but they are training people to commit terrorist attacks. There is no easy solution to this problem, but the international community, with the UK doing it all it possibly can, needs to act to close down Islamic State. We should support military action against Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq; they do not recognise the international border that runs between the lands they control, and so we should not be restricted by it either.
There will also be no solution to the migrant crisis until there is stability in the nations of the middle east and north Africa that border Europe. Britain has been one of the leading nations in support humanitarian aid to refugees in these countries. It is right that we focus our efforts close to where people have been driven from their homes, rather than waiting for them to travel thousands of miles across Europe.