Tony Abbott Likens Europe's Migrant Crisis To 'A Peaceful Invasion'

'This crisis can’t be managed; it has to be resolved.'

18/09/2016 8:22 PM AEST | Updated 18/09/2016 9:35 PM AEST
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Former PM Tony Abbott's successor Malcolm Turnbull is in New York to atend two special summits on refugees.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called on Europe to tighten its border control, warning the migrant crisis affecting the continent "has the look of a peaceful invasion".

In his speech to The Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists on Saturday night, Abbott addressed issues surrounding a post-Brexit world, urging Europeans to stand guard on their borders.

Speaking in Prague, he held up Australia's strict boat turn-back policy as a model of successful border protection.

Abbott said that effective border protection is not for the squeamish but is necessary to save lives and preserve nations.

"The truly compassionate thing to do is: stop the boats and stop the deaths – and, for more than two years now, there have been no illegal arrivals by boat in Australia and the drownings have stopped."

Abbott also speculated that the migrant crisis played a large factor in why Britain voted to leave the European Union.

"Britons aren't against Europe or against immigration but they voted against losing control.

"Uncontrolled immigration didn't cause Brexit but it did prompt Britons to take back their sovereignty," he said.

The former Prime Minister said he believes that refugees have no right to demand Europe provide them a better life.

"Europe's navies must do their humanitarian duty and rescue people who might otherwise drown; but taking them on to Italy and Greece just guarantees that more will make this dangerous journey," he said.

"So long as people think that arriving in Europe means staying in Europe... they will keep coming. Sending them to more European countries won't solve the problem; it will just spread it around."

He went on to explain Australia's strong stance on border protection that was brought in under his Government.

"That's what Australia did, under my government: we stopped illegal boats at sea and escorted them back to Indonesian waters," Abbott said in his speech.

"If the boats were scuttled, we had big orange life rafts on hand so that people could safely return from whence they'd come.

"I knew the risks to our personnel; I knew the damage this would do to relations with Indonesia; I knew the outcry it would spark from well-meaning activists but it simply had to be done."

These comments come just days after British Foreign Secretary Borris Johnson said the EU naval force should turn back migrant boats after they leave Libya to prevent them from reaching Italy.

US President Barack Obama will host the Leaders' Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis this week, which aims to look at funding, resettlement options and opportunities for education and legal work for refugees.

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