Refugee Crisis: ‘Compulsory' EU Quota Of 160,000 Asylum Seekers Unveiled As MEPs Heckle And Don An Angela Merkel Mask

09/09/2015 11:39 | Updated 09 September 2015

The EU must accept a further 120,000 refugees from war-torn northern Africa and the Middle East, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said amid farcical scenes in the European Parliament.

Addressing politicians at the European Parliament against cat-calls and and an anti-immigration MEP interrupting the speech wearing a mask of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Juncker said it would be "binding" for the bloc’s 28 governments to home more refugees on top of 40,000 Syrians already being discussed.

But the 70-minute "State of the Union" speech was condemned by Ukip's Nigel Farage, who warned of a rush of "biblical proportions" and a senior Conservative MEP said "telling countries what to do" would backfire.

The UK, which said this week it would accept 20,000 refugees over five years, has previously announced it will opt out of the quotas system. But countries signed up to the Schengen agreement are required to adopt the Commission's recommendations.

In his address, Juncker made clear the quotas would be implemented “in a compulsory way” as he chided members for not doing their part.

"There is a lack of Europe in this union, and a lack of union in this union,” he told MEPs. EU ministers will have a first look at the proposals on September 14.

Right-wing Italian MEP's Gianluca Buonnanno's ambush was laughed off by Juncker. "The European Parliament is the place where you can meet everyone," he said. "Union and diversity."

But his plan received a hostile reception from Ukip leader Nigel Farage. The MEP said the proposal meant "anyone who sets a foot on EU soil can stay", and said his claim there would be an influx of "biblical proportions" was beginning to happen.

During the session, Juncker labelled a heckle by Ukip MEP David Coburn as "worthless".

"Mr Juncker you've simply got this wrong," said Farage, adding his view has been compounded by Germany "saying that basically anyone can come".

"It is a bit too late now to draw up a list of countries from whom can stay and can't stay," he told MEPs. "All they have to do, as they're doing, is to throw their passports in the Mediterranean and say they're coming from Syria."

Syed Kamall, leader of the Conservative Party in the European Parliament, said: “Telling countries what to do, forcing a plan on them, only risks more finger-pointing. It might make some of you feel better, but I fear it could actually make the crisis worse.”

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