The mainstream media have finally reported claims that French border patrols are “shadowing” and “escorting” boat migrants to British territorial waters, a day after Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage exposed the phenomenon.
Mr Farage has been reporting on the increase of boat migrants landing unchallenged on England’s south-east coast since the coronavirus outbreak, and on Wednesday alleged that he had seen a French naval vessel “escorting” boat migrants into British waters.
The media’s sudden reporting appears a vindication of Mr Farage, who is also a journalist and host of a popular LBC radio show, after he had received condemnation from the commentariat and liberal press for reporting on the phenomenon in the public interest. With the issue becoming too significant to ignore, the mainstream media has now been forced to stop turning a blind eye to illegal boat migration from France and report on it themselves.
The establishment newspaper of record The Times reported on Mr Farage’s exposé, with even the French wire service Agence France-Presse (AFP) admitting that boat migrant crossings to the UK had surged.
Major British commercial news station Sky News reported a journalist admitting that a French naval vessel had “shadowed” a migrant boat, later intercepted by UK Border Force, “pretty much from the moment it left the beach in France”.
"It had been shadowed pretty much from the moment it left the beach"
Home Affairs correspondent @skymarkwhite spent the night accompanying a Border Force vessel & witnessed a French patrol boat shadow a migrant vessel into the English side of the Channel https://t.co/OSv2VdthxN pic.twitter.com/KAEOOT4pqB
— SkyNews (@SkyNews) May 21, 2020
Joining a Kent fisherman from the small hours of Thursday morning, journalist Mark White reported on “several” boats being picked up by British authorities in the English Channel, 65 in total by 7 am, just a few of what he described as the “regular stream of migrant boats trying to cross from France to the UK”.
He told Sky News that the first vessel they saw as dawn approached was being “shadowed by a French patrol boat… and then coming into view was a [UK] Border Force vessel, as well, just as the migrant boat crossed from French territorial waters into UK territorial waters”.
“This French patrol vessel, the Aramis, had been shadowing this migrant boat pretty much from the moment it left the beach near Calais and for two hours until it crossed into UK territorial waters.
“It didn’t, from what we could see, make any efforts to intercept the migrant boat,” Mr White described.
Fishing boat skipper Matt Coker is not convinced that France is as committed as the United Kingdom in stopping illegal migration, saying: “To be honest, that’s not the first time I’ve seen that. It’s quite regular. They don’t seem so interested in stopping the vessels as they do, sort of, escort them across.”
There are nine migrant boats reported in the Channel, looks like another record day already.
The invasion continues yet the BBC and ITV won't report this.
No wonder trust in the media is lower than ever.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) May 21, 2020
Mr White said that he was told that a reason why the French appear to be “escorting” illegal aliens out of their territory is that the migrants “simply won’t comply with the instructions from the French” to turn their small boats and dinghies back.
Mr Farage had accused media of failing to cover illegal boat landings, despite reports that French migrant camps had seen outbreaks of the deadly Chinese coronavirus.
The politician and journalist has also crticised British authorities, suggesting in April that UK Border Force “seems to be complicit”, while writing this week that he believed that illegal aliens were being escorted into British waters “with the active participation of the French Navy”.
Farage: Illegal Boat Migrant ‘Scandal’ Is ‘Bigger Than Anyone Realises’ https://t.co/c57v5vPZp4
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 29, 2020