Turkey's bid to join the EU

Turkey’s bid to join the European Union is wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money which could be better spent in the UK, an MP has said. Prime Minister David Cameron has previously said he would “make the case and fight for” and would “very much support” Turkey’s accession to the EU. Government claim Turkey will not become an EU member given its financial situation. Shipley MP Philip Davies demanded clarity on Government’s position from Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond given Mr Cameron’s support. In the Commons Mr Davies said: “Is the Foreign Secretary really claiming that we should take it from those comments that the government intends to veto Turkey’s accession to the EU? “And if there is no prospect of Turkey joining the EU then why is so much taxpayers’ money being spent on preparing Turkey for EU accession.” Mr Cameron is one of Turkey’s main allies and has urged other European leaders to support the country joining the EU. Mr Hammond said it would be “decades if not more” before Turkey becomes part of Europe, given it initially applied in 1987. He added: “There is a benefit to us in having Turkey on a European facing path. But ultimately we have a veto over the terms and conditions on which any applicant country is able to join the European Union. We have been absolutely clear there can be no questions of further accessions to the European Union and access to free movement within the European Union until an applicant country has reached the average level of GDP per capita across the EU, so no more poverty gradient in the European Union.” Allowing Turkey to join the EU could see 75 million Turks enter Britain increasing pressure on schools, hospitals and other public services, Mr Davies warned. Mr Davies is campaigning for a Leave vote in next month’s referendum and was the first MP to call for Britain to leave the EU in 2006. Mr Davies added: “The money being wasted on Turkey’s bid would be better spent on health, education and our public services which are already under enormous pressure from free movement in Europe.”