In the UK we have an incredibly proud history of rescuing refugees (such as those who work valiantly alongside British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq as interpreters) and those fleeing persecution from war torn countries.
At present we are engaging in an act of firefighting and we need to have a clear strategic plan that distinguishes between asylum seekers on the one hand and economic migrants on the other, a distinction which has been blurred for far too long.
The tragedy unfolding across the Middle East and into Europe further highlights the problem of the European Union’s principle of free movement.
With net migration into the UK at over 300,000 this year alone it makes it harder for Britain, which is a proud and generous nation, to offer assistance to those who really need our help.
In order for Britain’s relationship with the European Union to continue beyond 2017 Brussels needs to take note of the anger and frustration that this current crisis has caused and realise that the generosity of the British people can only go so far when EU economic migration is reducing our ability to help.
For now though we simply need to do more to help those genuine refugees fleeing persecution and long term we need to use our influence and resources to stabilise the countries that refugees are desperate to escape from.