As a Cheshire MEP, I very much welcome Operation Activity which saw police and other agencies raid businesses across the county in an effort to tackle the scourge that is modern day slavery.
Forced labour has no place in this country nor anywhere else in the civilised world and must be stamped out at every opportunity.
Sadly, gang masters and sex traffickers have been able to take advantage of our membership of the European Union in order to facilitate the movement of people seamlessly across the continent. A sad consequence of an open borders Europe is that vulnerable people, often women and children, can be shipped across Europe and abused without much impediment.
Last year, children’s charity Barnardo’s warned of a ‘surge’ in the number of children who had been trafficked to Britain from Albania. Many of these children have been forced into prostitution or to work on cannabis farms.
With Albania gearing up for EU membership in the near future, I fear that we could see even more vulnerable women and children trafficked into Britain as slaves as travel becomes much easier.
Only by leaving the European Union and taking full control of our borders will we be able to target the trafficking of these victims into Britain.
Louise Bours MEP