Farage: Turn Back Migrant Boats Like Australia or More People Will Die

DOVER, ENGLAND - MARCH 31: Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) poses along a footpath under the White Cliffs of Dover on March 31, 2015 in Dover, England. UKIP unveiled their latest election political campaign poster today, aimed at issues of reducing immigration. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty …
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The deal between France and the United Kingdom will do little to stem the tides of illegal boat migrants unless the British government adopts an Australian ‘turn back the boats’ policy in the English Channel, said Brexit leader Nigel Farage.

Mr Farage said that his experience saving two migrants from drowning over the weekend demonstrated to him the “folly” of the government’s approach in dealing with the record waves of illegal aliens pouring over the Channel.

“From what I witnessed in the Channel on Sunday morning, it’s not just the volume of those making the journey across this treacherous stretch of water that alarms voters, bringing with them a host of expensive practical problems that must be paid for by hard-pressed taxpayers,” he wrote in The Telegraph.

“It’s also the sense that a major tragedy is sure to occur sooner or later. Sadly, some immigrants are known to have died already while making the journey,” he added.

Mr Farage said that “no agreement with any French minister will stop this cruel trade”, arguing that the only feasible means of stopping the migrant boats would be to immediately return the vessels to France, similar to the strategy adopted by Australia under the leadership of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

“If Britain is to control this problem for once and for all, there is only one way to do so. The time has come to adopt the measures used by Australia and turn the boats back,” Farage wrote.

In 2013, Mr Abbott’s government introduced Operation Sovereign Borders, in which migrant boats, hailing mostly from Indonesia, were immediately turned back to their country of origin or brought to off-shore asylum processing centres in third-party countries.

The strategy effectively shut down the illegal migrant routes that had been plaguing Australia before its implementation.

While Mr Farage said some boats might be prevented by the increased patrols of the coastline by the French, he noted that in light of the “100 miles of beaches and vast areas of sand dunes to monitor” he is confident that the deal will not “suffice”.

“If it is to mean anything at all, I believe there will have to be another joint declaration in which the UK promises France even more money,” he wrote.

Mr Farage also echoed calls from the Migration Watch UK think tank in calling for an end to the pull factors, which the Brexit leader characterised as “soft-touch-Britain”.

He pointed to the complaints from the alleged asylum seekers about the conditions at the former army barracks turned migrant camp in Kent, saying that despite having supposedly fled “war-torn countries” the migrants expect to “move into their own room in a four-star hotel”.

“They represent a very different kind of asylum seeker to those who have come before them,” he said.

Despite promises from Home Secretary Priti Patel to make Channel crossings an “infrequent phenomenon”, so far this year, approximately 8,500 illegal boat migrants have reached British shores from France, over four times the number that came in 2019.

In reality, the true number of illegal migrants is likely to much higher, as the government’s figures fail to include alleged child migrants as well as those who evade detection.

“It’s fair to say most Britons are fed up of the Government’s appalling failure to protect our borders. Patience has worn thin,” Farage warned.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka

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