Jonny Gould claimed Europe could be on the verge of another refugee crisis, caused by Bashar al-Assad’s assault on the last rebel held parts of Syria. Syrian troops, backed by Russian airpower, have launched a massive offensive against Idlib province, where three million people, many refugees from other parts of Syria, are trapped.
According to the UN 900,000 people have already been forced to flee the recent fighting.
Turkish troops have also crossed the border in some areas and clashed with Syrian forces.
Mr Gould argued the EU could not survive another refugee crisis, comparable to the one that struck in 2015-16.
Speaking to Express.co.uk he commented: “We’ve already seen the European Union couldn’t really cope with the last refugee shock.
Jonny Gould claimed the EU could collapse if faced with another refugee crisis
Large parts of Syria have been devastated by the ongoing civil war
“If Assad bombs his people again there will be another flood of people, and I don’t think the European Union could cope with the shock.
“We have seen the rise of extremism in Europe. I think it’s a real threat.
“A major nation will vote someone [extreme] in.”
During the 2015-16 crisis Germany took in nearly a million refugees, predominantly from Syria.
Syrian regime forces are attacking rebels in Idlib province
Critics claimed some of those who arrived were economic migrants from other nations.
Following the influx the far-right AfD shot up in the polls, and in 2017 entered the German Parliament for the first time.
In the same year the final round of the French Presidential election was contested by Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, candidate of the far-right National Front party.
Mr Gould claimed the EU was being held to an “extortion” by Turkey, which has currently closed its border with Syria.
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Over a million refugees and migrants entered Europe during the 2015-16 crisis
Angela Merkel pictured during the refugee crisis
He said: “God forbid Turkey opens the gates again because they’re being paid not to and they can hold the European Union to extortion.
“You’ve got to wonder what the European project is about – it cannot cope.”
Turkey has taken in three and a half million refugees since the Syrian civil war began in 2011.
Earlier this week Mark Lowcock, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs, issued a stark warning relating to the Syrian crisis.
He claimed we could be approaching the “biggest humanitarian horror story of the 21st century”.
Jonny Gould was a strong supporter of Britain’s decision to leave the EU
Mr Gould also spoke of his joy, as a British Jew, that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party was soundly defeated in December’s general election.
He explained it was: “A huge sense of relief. For the first time in about four years I genuinely felt I had control back of my life.
“I was on the back foot wondering about what to do next.
“Wondering about people who were my friends growing up – whether they were voting Labour or not. Whether they could continue thinking about voting Labour when they knew it would personally affect my life.
Far-right parties surged across Europe following the refugee crisis
“It is no exaggeration the thought amongst friends of mine was ‘can we continue living in this country’.
“For someone who is proud to be British, grew up British, its like having the rug pulled from under your feet and thank goodness the result was so big.”
On December 12 Labour suffered its worst general election defeat since 1935, losing 60 seats.
The party has always strenuously denied allegations it is institutionally anti-Semitic.
Published at Sun, 23 Feb 2020 06:21:00 +0000