The former prime minister of Australia has told the leaders of Europe they must turn back the tide of illegal immigrants entering the continent or face catastrophe.
“No country or continent can open its borders to all comers without fundamentally weakening itself,” Tony Abbott warned.
He said “too much mercy for some necessarily undermines justice for all.”
It is “misguided altruism” that is leading “much of Europe into catastrophic error.”
During a speech delivered at the second annual Margaret Thatcher Lecture at Guildhall in London, Abbott called on leaders to act by “turning around boats (and) denying entry at the border for people with no right to come.”
“It will require some force, it will require massive logistics and expense; it will gnaw at our consciences,” he said.
“Yet it is the only way to prevent a tide of humanity surging through Europe and quite possibly changing it forever.”
Abbott’s political legacy includes adopting a strict border control system and turning away boat people before they reached the shores of Australia.
“While prime minister, I was loath to give public advice to other countries whose situations are different, but because people smuggling is a global problem, and because Australia is the only country that has successfully defeated it, twice under conservative governments, our experience should be studied,” he said.