British exclusion of Dutch MP 'a dangerous precedent'

12 February 2009

British exclusion of Dutch MP 'a dangerous precedent'

The decision by the British authorities that a right wing member of the Dutch parliament should not be allowed on to United Kingdom territory sets a dangerous precedent. SP Euro-MP Erik Meijer has raised the exclusion from the UK of Geert Wilders, founder and leader of the far right Freedom Party, and the precedent which it might set, in a written question to the European Commission. “Can members of and candidates for the European Parliament also be refused entry to EU member states on the grounds of their opinions?” Meijer will ask. He is seeking to know whether other politicians might, for example, be prevented from contributing to debates during the forthcoming European Parliament elections.

Erik MeijerMedia Hype
Meijer is also asking the Commission to inform the British government that it is extremely undesirable to exclude people on grounds of their opinions. “There are sufficient other means to combat parliamentarians with offensive views,” he says. “It isn't necessary to refuse him access to an EU member state. The British refusal gives the politician concerned the opportunity to present himself as a martyr, which can only benefit his attempts to whip up public conflicts and media hype which can in turn only draw more attention to his opinions. The actions of the British authorities will thus end up being counterproductive.”

You are here