Farage Says ‘Return Boat Migrants to France’ as 18 More Attempt Channel Crossing

Farage Boat
Gerndarmerie Maritime/Getty/AFP

Eighteen more suspected illegal migrants have attempted to cross the English Channel from France in small boats this week, prompting calls to return them to France to disincentivise further crossings.

The news means that 123 suspected illegal migrants, most claiming to be Iranian, have arrived just this month, in what the local MP has dubbed an “unprecedented” phenomenon of “brazen” sea crossings.

MEP and Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage joined the debate Tuesday, commenting: “If all the illegal immigrants being rescued in the Channel and coming into Dover are allowed to stay, that will encourage even more to come. A tragedy is close at hand.”

Local Kent Police told Kent Live they were called at around three in the morning after a small boat containing nine migrants was spotted by a fishing crew off the coast of Dover.

A Border Force boat picked up the suspected migrants and brought them to Dover at about 5:30 am and they were handed over to immigration officials.

Around the same time, a British ferry located a fishing boat with nine migrants on board four nautical miles west of Dunkerque, the French coastguard said.

The individuals were recovered and put in the care of firemen and the police at around 7:00 am and the boat was towed to Dunkerque, French authorities said in a statement.

The French coastguard added that they “warn migrants who plan to cross the Channel, one of the busiest sea lanes in the world, that there is a danger to human life.”

MP for Dover Charlie Elphicke commented Friday: “Just last week, 48 migrants were rescued from the English Channel in the space of 48 hours, in five separate incidents.

“We’ve seen this sort of thing before – but more sporadically, and very rarely during November. To see this number of brazen attempts to break into Britain, even as winter sets in, is unprecedented and deeply concerning.”

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