French ships were seen apparently escorting illegal migrants in small boats across the English Channel again on Tuesday morning, confirming earlier reporting from Breitbart London and Brexit leader Nigel Farage, who uncovered the practice.
ITV’s Good Morning Britain filmed the migrants crossing into British waters after being “shadowed” by French naval vessels in the Channel — reporting that at the time of filming they witnessed four or five migrant boats attempting to make the journey.
The film showed a small rubber dinghy with approximately ten migrants sailing by the crew’s boat, with the presenter remarking that the boat was clearly not designed to hold that many people — requiring them to bail water to keep afloat.
Reporter Jonathan Swain said: “They want to get here in English waters and they know that they are going to be picked up now by the [British] Border Force. They will then claim asylum, many of them disappear into the system or the black economy while they are claiming asylum… for them, this is their golden ticket.”
“This is what is happening on a daily occurrence at the moment,” Swain added.
He went on to remark on the “calmness of it all, the normality of it all” as the Border Force tossed a rope to the migrant boat, before towing them ashore.
Watch the extraordinary moment @SwainITV is passed by a small migrant boat making a Channel crossing.
The boat had been shadowed by French border forces before being left to cross into English waters.
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) August 4, 2020
'They want to get here in English waters and they know they will be picked up by the border force.'
The migrant boat @SwainITV has been following this morning has just been rescued by the UK border force.
He reports this is the 4th or 5th boat making the crossing this morning. pic.twitter.com/xPmaOvViCn
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) August 4, 2020
The scenes were similar to those caught on film by Brexit leader Nigel Farage in May, who filmed an “absolutely packed” migrant boat in the English Channel apparently being escorted by the French into British territorial waters, ultimately handing them over to the UK Border Force.
“What we know is that a French naval vessel has been seen escorting boats out of French waters to get them into British waters… then they are off their hands,” Mr Farage said at the time.
The claims by the arch-Brexiteer were confirmed by reporting from Breitbart London’s Oliver Lane, who revealed that the French Navy’s own transponder data showed the French not only handed over migrants on the day Mr Farage filmed but had likely done the same procedure the week before.
On Tuesday, Farge released more footage of migrants arriving at the Port of Dover, describing the morning as “another chaotic day in the English Channel” and claiming that at least 130 migrants have been brought ashore since the start of the day.
Another chaotic day in the English Channel, 130 illegal migrants into Dover already. Here is some exclusive footage. pic.twitter.com/HuSySFFZWX
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) August 4, 2020
Home Secretary Priti Patel has reportedly been seeking an arrangement with her French counterparts that would see migrants who attempt to cross the English Channel illegally to be immediately returned to France, which is a safe, first world EU member-state where migrants face no state persecution.
There has seemingly been little willingness from the French to acquiesce to such an agreement, however, claiming that maritime laws prevent them from doing anything other than assisting migrants if requested.
The British, meanwhile, seem unwilling to press the issue by turning the migrant boats back to France immediately.
Migration Watch UK said of the situation that “the biggest incentive for those attempting dangerous Channel crossings is the knowledge that being picked up by a British Border Force vessel or managing to set foot on our soil provides a strong chance of a permanent stay.”
“One way to neutralise this would be UK and French government agreement that anyone intercepted, whether in the Channel or on reaching UK shores, will be returned immediately to France where any application for asylum could be made. Ultimately, it would be in French interests to prevent such departures,” the mass migration sceptic pressure group suggested.
This sentiment was echoed d by the former head of the Border Force, Tony Smith, who warned this week that if no agreement is reached between the French and British governments, then the number of illegal boat migrants will likely reach a “crisis” level.
So far this year, over 3,500 migrants have crossed the Channel by sea illegally, compared to 1,890 for the whole of 2019. A daily record of 202 migrants were brought ashore by the UK Border Force last week.
Farage: Government Burying ‘Their Heads in the Sand’ on Illegal Migration https://t.co/D5nto2WeDb
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 2, 2020
Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka