IT will not be Brexit that eventually tears the European Union apart – it will be the migrant crisis.
Around 13,000 illegal immigrants arrived in Italy over the past week and it is not even big news, for this is the new normality.
And the issue divides the nations of Europe like nothing else.
The countries of southern Europe on the front line — Italy, Spain, Greece — are increasingly overwhelmed by the numbers of people arriving on their shores.
Angela Merkel’s solution — that the migrants she invited to live here should be shared out equally among the countries of Europe — has fallen on unresponsive ears.
For the nations of Eastern Europe — Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia — are totally, implacably and forever opposed to seeing their overwhelmingly Christian countries turned into multicultural paradises like France, Germany and the UK.
The Eastern Europeans are routinely derided as racists by the west. And yet who can blame them for not rushing to replicate societies where home-grown terrorism is now a part of everyday life?
Eastern Europe has been given a choice that was never extended to the people of Western Europe — do you really want to see your nation’s identity radically changed by newcomers with their own set of beliefs?
Eastern Europe has replied with one voice — no thanks.
There will be millions of decent, non-racist people in Western Europe who do not blame them at all.
The solution of the Mediterranean countries has been to wave the migrants onwards and let someone further north worry about the problem. But that no longer works because this week the Austrian army mobilised tanks along its border with Italy to control the tidal wave of humanity looking for a home.
No nation in Europe wants — or is able — to give a life to thousands of young, male refugees from deeply religious, profoundly patriarchal societies whose beliefs are frequently at odds with western freedoms. Yet still they come.
And we are told that they will be coming for generations. Read in full