UKIP warns 'border-less' Europe increases risk of harm in aftermath of Paris attacks as Hartlepool gathering held to discuss future of EU

UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall addresses the Say No to the EU meeting in Hartlepool.
UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall addresses the Say No to the EU meeting in Hartlepool.

The deputy leader of UKIP has raised concerns that terrorist attacks will rise on the back of immigration issues across Europe as the party held a talk about why the UK should pull out of Europe.

MEP Paul Nuttall was in Hartlepool as part of his party's Say No to the EU tour, with more than 100 people gathering for the event at the Town Hall Theatre during this afternoon.

It opened with a minute's silence held in honour of those claimed in the Paris attacks, which saw more than 120 people killed as terrorists struck in restaurants, at a concert venue and a sports stadium.

Mr Nuttall told the Mail: "People are worried about what's happened.

"I spoke in the European Parliament about this about five weeks or less, that attacks, such as in this case, would happen if borders were opened.

"Unfortunately it seems I've been proved right.

Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre.

Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre.

"The fear is that a border-less Europe appears to encourage the opportunities that these people have to harm us.

"We've been shown this by these attacks."

He added a decision to allow people to move from country to country without rigorous passport checks would help those plotting such tragedies.

The discussion was open to all, rather than party members, and also saw an address by MEP Jonathan Arnott, who is based in the town and represents the North East of England in the European Parliament.

North of England MEP Jonathan Arnott, of UKIP, at the discussions at Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre.

North of England MEP Jonathan Arnott, of UKIP, at the discussions at Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre.

He spoke about the EU's impact on laws in the UK, as well as trade, education and energy and put forward arguments about why Britain should leave the European Union.

He added: "The thing about this was three-quarters of the people at this meeting were not UKIP members, this was not an event where we talked to ourselves but to talk to other members of the public.

"It has an impact on so many areas of our lives, from the economy, to VAT, our trade and the NHS.

"It plays a major part in our lives, what happens in Brussels, and yet people don't see it because the European Parliament are so removed from our homes.

"This event looked at these issues and we got asked a lot of different questions."

The party's efforts to persuade voters they should back a withdrawal from the EU will continue through canvassing.

The UK is expected to have a referendum by the end of 2017 over whether it should remain a member of the EU.