Farage Watched French Warship Escort Migrant Boat into British Waters

DEAL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: Recently landed migrants are intercepted by the police on September 15, 2020 at Kingsdown in Deal, England. More than 6,100 migrants have made the crossing by boat this year according to an analysis by the Press Association. (Photo by Luke Dray/Getty Images)
Luke Dray/Getty Images

Nigel Farage reported from the English Channel on Wednesday that French authorities continue to escort boats full of illegal aliens into British waters, despite UK government claims that France is doing all it can to stop illegal migration.

The Brexit Party leader first reported on the French navy escorting migrant boats into British waters in May. After the story garnered mainstream attention, authorities claimed that under maritime law, the French could not forcibly turn around the vessels or intervene unless the illegals expressly gave consent.

While Paris and London had heated exchanges across the Channel over whose responsibility it was to prevent illegals leaving French soil, the British government has seen claimed that France is as “committed” as the UK to stopping the migrant crisis.

Mr Farage’s reporting on Wednesday suggests otherwise.

Livestreaming in the English Channel in a boat, the politician-turned-investigative-journalist told his Facebook followers: “Not much has changed. We’ve been watching for an hour a big French warship escort this boat into British waters.”

He said: “This is what is going on the English Channel every single day. We keep being told by Priti Patel and Chris Philp, the immigration minister, that the French are doing a good job turning around migrant boats.

“We’ve spent an hour watching the French escorting illegal migrants into United Kingdom waters.”

“Nothing’s going to change,” he added.

After escorting the boat into British waters — and even giving those on board life jackets — the French vessel turned around, leaving the small craft in the middle of the Channel. Perilously taking on water, Farage decided to continue to follow the vessel in case it should come into distress before UK Border Force or the coastguard arrived.

The migrants began should out “England! England!”, when asked by Farage where they were heading. The Brexit veteran was able to confirm with those on board that their vessel was carrying 16 people, who he deduced by their dress were from Afghanistan.

Mostly men with a couple of women and one child, Mr Farage observed that that was a typical ratio for passengers aboard migrant boats.

“Roughly, 80 to 85 per cent of those who come are young men between 18 and 30,” he said.

The row between France and the UK came to a head last month when a Sudanese migrant trying to reach the UK drowned and washed up on French shores. With initial claims that the migrant was a child but later revealed to be 28 years old, a French lawmaker blamed the death on Britain, claiming that the UK should show “humanity” and make it easier for migrants to claim asylum in the UK from France.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said that the government is considering setting up asylum processing centres in both France and Belgium in the belief that it would stop the boats. However, there is a high probability that it will only increase the number of illegals migrating to those countries to seek passage to the UK.

Reports have already confirmed that many failed asylum seekers, including those deported to other EU countries, will simply go back to France to illegally travel to the UK, likely failing to register with authorities and disappearing into the black economy.

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