Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has said that the British government does not have the “political will” to turn back boat migrants, because it is led by “metro-liberal” Boris Johnson, who has openly backed amnesty for illegal aliens in the past.
Over 4,500 migrants have crossed the English Channel from France and landed on Britain’s shore this year alone — more than twice the 1,890 that arrived in the whole of 2019.
Speaking to veteran media editor Kelvin MacKenzie on Thursday, Mr Farage said that “what we have right now is an emergency” that requires the government to get tough on illegal migration by adopting the Australia approach of immediately turning back the migrant boats to France.
“This is about political will. This is about saying, ‘if you come here via this route, you can’t stay’,” Mr Farage said.
However, the Brexit Party leader doubts whether the Cabinet could undertake the initiative, given how he believes so very few bonafide conservatives are in it.
Farage revealed last week that illegal boat migrants had been housed at taxpayers’ expense in a hotel in Witham in Essex — the seat of Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has been most vocal about stopping illegal Channel migration.
Flashback: ‘Amnesty Boris’ on Illegals, Open Borders to Turkey, Migration Caps https://t.co/J3fr111BRH
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 23, 2019
While he levelled criticism in his exposé at the home secretary, Mr Farage told Mr MacKenzie that he believes Patel is “genuinely quite conservative”, calling her “the only Thatcherite that’s there in the Cabinet”.
Instead, he blamed the rest of the government, laying particular criticism on Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“Boris, on the other hand…is actually a metro-liberal. When he was mayor of London, he twice proposed mass amnesties for all illegal immigrants. So I think even if Priti is genuine and sincere in wishing to stop all of this, I just feel she has not got the support of Cabinet and indeed the prime minister,” he said.
Twelve years ago, as the Conservative mayor of London, Boris Johnson had called for what he termed an “earned amnesty” for the 400,000 illegals then living in the city. During his second term in office in 2013, he again called for the regularisation of migrants who have managed to evade deportation for a decade or longer.
Even as MP and a leading figure in the Vote Leave campaign during the 2016 referendum, Johnson declared: “I am in favour of an amnesty for illegal immigrants who have been here more than 12 years.” Two years later, while foreign secretary, he again called for amnesty.
Tory MP Blasts French Politician for Blaming UK for Drowning Death of Boat Migrant https://t.co/RgpMwvaeUc
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 20, 2020
The UK is trying to negotiate terms with the French to turn back the migrants at sea, in an adoption of former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Operation Sovereign Borders, which dramatically cut the number of boat migrants arriving illegally in the country. However, the French so far are resistant, with Calais’s MP even claiming that the recent death of a young male migrant was the fault of the UK.
Australia’s Abbott recently warned the UK that unless it adopts the political will to stand up to France and stop the boats, it would be facing its own migrant crisis in the English Channel. Mr Abbott said in June: “Plainly, this will require a degree of determination and planning on Britain’s part. The French may not like to hear ‘they shall not pass’ from Britons… Still, in the long run, this is for France’s good too; as the only way to clear the camps in Calais is to ensure that none of their occupants can ever get across the Channel and stay.”