The Home Office has formally requested support from the Ministery of Defence to handle the increasing flow of illegal boat migrants after dozens more made it across the English Channel on Saturday.
Thursday saw a daily record of 235 illegal incursions onto British territory, and Friday saw a further 130.
Recent media reports suggest the Conservative government is considering an Australian-style “push back” policy, which would forcibly return migrant and trafficker boats back to France. On Saturday, however, faced with the continuing stream of illegal aliens, the government department in charge of security and immigration was forced to reach out to the MoD for help.
The MoD said in comments reported by the Associated Press that it had received a request to “support UK Border Force operations in the Dover Straits”, the area off of the English south-east coastal county of Kent.
“We are assessing the requirement using the formal Military Aid to the Civilian Authorities process and are working hard to identify how we can most effectively assist,” the ministry said in a statement seen by the BBC.
On Saturday, a boat carrying 14 illegals landed at Kingdown in Kent. Another dinghy with 12 people on board was reportedly seen off of the coast being intercepted by UK Border Force. Another vessel carrying 19 people was seen in the English Channel, according to sources speaking to Sky News.
UK Considering Australia-Style ‘Operation Push Back’ Against Channel Migrants: Report https://t.co/qKximCk4Ha
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 8, 2020
Kent fisherman Matt Coker told the BBC it had now become “very common” to see migrants trying to cross the English Channel, saying he would see them “every calm day”.
The fisherman said that he has even seen migrants attempt the crossing on small vessels like inflatable canoes, using shovels or pieces of wood as paddles. “Some of the things I’ve seen it defies belief,” Mr Coker said.
On Saturday morning, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage shared footage on social media which showed three African migrants in a narrow inflatable canoe. The illegals were being picked up by a vessel that Mr Farage implied was a part of a fishing fleet, saying: “Border Force can no longer cope and British fishing boats are now having to do the job.”
Mr Farage has been highly critical of the government’s handling of the Channel migrant crisis, which has seen nearly 4,000 landings in the first eight months of 2020 — more than double the total of 2019.
“I’ll believe this when I see it. Will it be more talk and no action Priti Patel?” Mr Farage said on Friday as more reports circulated that the Home Secretary was preparing to make a stand against illegal migration.
The Brexit Party leader has been at the forefront of exposing the migrant crisis for months. Recently, he revealed that not only were hotels being commandeered to house migrants whilst British holidaymakers were turned away, but that the illegal aliens were being treated to VIP tours of Anfield stadium, the home of Liverpool Football Club.
“First it was a taxi service into Dover. Then it was free coaches and Four Star Hotels. Now it’s guided tours of Anfield Stadium for illegal migrants. When will this madness end?” he said on Thursday.
First it was a taxi service into Dover.
Then it was free coaches and Four Star Hotels.
Now it’s guided tours of Anfield Stadium for illegal migrants.
When will this madness end? pic.twitter.com/OR0pHya9z2
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) August 6, 2020