Farage: French Navy Coordinates with UK Authorities to Transfer Boat Migrants to England

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PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

Politician and journalist Nigel Farage has said he witnessed illegal aliens being shepherded to British territorial waters “with the active participation of the French Navy” who coordinated with UK Border Force in offloading migrants into England.

On Wednesday, Mr Farage reported from the English Channel that he witnessed French navy vessels “escorting” boats out of French waters in British territory. During that time, he said that the British coast guard had threatened to “commandeer” the vessel he was travelling in if he persisted in filming migrants being transferred to British authorities.

“The French Navy escorts migrant boats out of French waters and into British waters so that our Border Force can accept them and take their passengers into Dover to begin their lives in the United Kingdom,” Mr Farage wrote in The Telegraph on Thursday.

Describing what he termed “the handover”, Mr Farage outlined the measures both French and British authorities had taken to try to prevent him from reporting on the incident.

After hearing that French naval ship the Fourmentin was escorting a small dinghy towards the English coast, the captain of Mr Farage’s vessel began to head back towards French territorial waters.

“Then the trouble began,” the Brexit Party leader wrote, saying that the French “began threatening us by radio” and claiming that he was “interfering with a search and rescue mission”.

“Presumably, the French show such hostility in order to hide the truth. They do not want anyone to know what is really going on, but we saw it — and we recorded it,” Mr Farage said.

“Close alongside the migrant dinghy was a small French inflatable raft that had come off the mother ship. This stayed very close to the dinghy to ensure safety. As a Border Force vessel approached, Fourmentin very deliberately put herself between us and the ‘handover’ that was taking place. The French knew we had a camera on board from their previous sighting and they did not want this activity to be filmed,” he wrote.

“Even more shockingly, the UK Coastguard then spoke over VHF radio to my skipper and told him that if anybody filmed the handover, his boat would be held in port,” he said.

The journalist then described the damning conversation between Border Force and the French Navy over the radio, saying that “the French conceded that they must do things differently next time, aware that they had been rumbled. Incredibly, our side responded by saying: ‘Thank you for your assistance.’ Yes, really. UK Border Force officials gave thanks to the French for escorting illegal migrants into British waters.”

“For some time, I have wondered why no media organisation has touched this story. Now that I know the truth — and given it was relatively easy to establish the facts — I am even more puzzled by this collective failure to scrutinise,” Mr Farage wrote.

Reporting on illegal immigration in recent weeks — a matter of public interest — has come at personal cost to Mr Farage, who has received a visit from the police for travelling during lockdown, and condemnation from the establishment.

However, on Thursday, Mr Farage was vindicated when the mainstream media was forced to begin reporting on the increase in illegal boat migrants and the accusations that the French are actively helping them.

The phenomenon of mostly Middle Eastern migrants “fleeing” France — a safe, European Union country — to seek asylum in the United Kingdom has seen a rapid rise over the last few weeks, with at least 1,085 people arriving on Britain’s shores since the coronavirus lockdown began on March 23rd.

A report from January revealed that just 15 per cent of aliens who illegally crossed the English Channel last year were returned to their last European country of residence, including France.

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