Take Back Control? 2020 Saw the Europe Migrant Crisis Land on British Shores

DOVER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 06: Nine migrants drift in the English Channel after their engine failed on September 06, 2020 in Dover, England. The nine male migrants were making their way to the South Coast of England when their outboard motor failed and only had one life jacket amongst them. …
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The year in which the United Kingdom finally left the European Union was marred by record waves of illegal immigration across the English Channel, as an estimated 9,000 boat migrants landed on British shores.

A key pillar of the pro-sovereignty Brexit movement was for the British people to ‘take back control’ of their ability to determine their own laws, but perhaps just as crucially, to regain control of the country’s borders.

In 2019, Home Secretary Priti Patel pledged to make migrant crossings an “infrequent phenomenon” and Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a promise that the government would send boat migrants back.

Neither promise would be fulfilled in 2020, with over four times as many migrants landing this year than in 2019.

A Trickle Turns into a Wave

The first few months of the year saw a trickle of migrant boats making the perilous journey from France. However, as lockdown measures were introduced on both sides of the Channel, the trickle turned into larger waves, with nearly 500 migrants landing during the first month of lockdown. Less than a month later, over 1,000 would have been recorded landing.

Amidst the panic surrounding the Chinese coronavirus, there was little appetite amongst the mainstream media to cover the growing migrant crisis, despite warnings that outbreaks of the virus had been found in the makeshift migrant camps in Calais.

Following Great Britain’s official departure from the European Union, veteran Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage took up the slack from the mainstream media and began reporting on the deluge of migrant crossings.

In a stunning development, the arch-Brexiteer turned investigative journalist filmed what purported to show the French Navy escorting boat migrants into British territorial waters, where they “handed over” the migrants to the UK Border Force, who in turn brought the migrants ashore at the Port of Dover.

Mr Farage’s findings were confirmed by Breitbart London’s Oliver JJ Lane, who tracked transponder data from ships in the English Channel to confirm the meeting of the two ships.

Further data uncovered by Breitbart London showed that a similar meeting of the French Navy and British Border Force took place just days before off the coast of Pett Level, another migrant landing hotspot identified by Mr Farage.

In an interview with Breitbart editor in chief Alex Marlow on the Breitbart News Daily show on Sirius XM Patriot in May, Farage said: “It’s just incredible, the extent to which they want to hush this whole thing up because it’s too embarrassing.”

The Mainstream Media’s Head in the Sand

Rather than highlighting the growing migrant crisis, many in the mainstream media and British establishment derided the Brexit leader for focussing on the issue.

In an article in the Sunday Times entitled “The old Nigel Farage immigrant song sounds way off key”, journalist Sarah Baxter wrote: “immigration as a national emergency… has gone right off the boil.”

In a video response, Mr Farage shot back, remarking: “I wonder, who is out of touch here? Is it me, or is it the mainstream media?”

Others attempted to use the coronavirus lockdown restrictions to shut down the efforts to uncover the growing migrant scandal, with at least one member of the public reporting Mr Farage to the police in Dover for supposedly breaching the restrictions.

This prompted the police to visit his hotel to warn him to obey “essential travel” rules, which he was, in fact, exempt from as a journalist — hosting an LBC radio show at the time and serving as a columnist for The Telegraph.

Undeterred, Farage pronounced that the police pressure would not stop him from covering the issue, saying: “I tell you what, I just ignored them. If they want to put me in prison they can, I just couldn’t care less.”

“One of the points of Brexit was we were going to become an independent, self-governing nation that controlled its borders and its own destiny. To see our immigration rules, to see the rule of law, to see ourselves being made a mockery of, is something I want to fight,” he added.

Four Star Accommodation for Migrants

There are an estimated 56,000 supposed asylum seekers in the United Kingdom, the vast number of whom are deemed ineligible for asylum by the government.

Once on British soil, migrants are afforded free accommodation, a weekly stipend of at least £35.39, access to National Health Service (NHS) healthcare, free dental care, and education for children between the ages of five and 17 — all of which is paid for by the British taxpayer.

Rather than fulfilling the prime minister’s pledge to send illegal boat migrants back, the Home Office has instead been storing migrants in hotels across the country. Some migrants have even received VIP treatment, with their immigration handlers escorting them on private tours of Anfield Stadium after Liverpool’s Premier League win.

The scandal was once again brought to light by the Brexit leader, who uncovered a hotel in the West Midlands housing 147 migrants while refusing to take bookings from native Britons.

In an even more embarrassing development for the government, the Home Office was also revealed by Mr Farage to be housing illegal migrants in a hotel in the constituency of Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has frequently called for a crackdown on illegal immigration.

“She is taking her constituents and all of us for a ride,” Farage remarked at the time.

The scandalous development forced the mainstream media to actually report on the issue, ultimately resulting in the Home Office cowing to the ensuing outrage and closing the migrant hotel.

Aside from the financial burden of the asylum system — which is expected to cost the British taxpayer at least £4 billion over the next ten years— the hotel asylum seeker scheme has come with a cost in blood.

In June, a Sudanese migrant went on a stabbing spree inside his Glasgow hotel, injuring six people, including a police officer, David Whyte, who was critically injured.

The migrant attacker, Badreddin Abadlla Adam, had reportedly complained about his free accommodation and the food, which sometimes included spaghetti or macaroni and cheese, which was said to not be “culturally appropriate” for him.

Abadlla Adam was ultimately shot dead during the stabbing spree. Despite limits on public gatherings, and indeed the horrors inflicted by the Sudanese migrant, hundreds turned out to attend his funeral in July.

This year also saw at least seven migrants tragically lose their lives attempting to cross the English Channel from France, with a family of five, including a 15-month-old baby, drowning in October.

From Migrant Camps to Slave Sweatshops

Following his discovery of the migrant hotel in the West Midlands, Mr Farage noted that even though the majority of the illegal aliens will not qualify for asylum status, they will most likely remain in the country.

“They will still stay in the country… picking fruit, working in the rag trade in Leicester or whatever it is.  They will move into the illegal slave economy in this country,” he said.

A July report from the Centre for Social Justice think tank alongside the anti-slavery charity Justice and Care found that there are some 100,000 people working as slaves in the UK, with an estimated 10,000 slaves in the multicultural city of Leicester, alone.

The study found that migrants, people in poverty, children from disadvantaged families, and domestically abused women are the most likely to fall “prey to unscrupulous traffickers”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel suggested that “cultural sensitivities” led police and other government agencies to overlook the plight of illegal workers in the ‘fast-fashion’ factories of Leicester, similar to how police overlooked for decades the scourge of mostly Pakistani Muslim-origin grooming gangs sexually exploiting young white girls in cities such as Rotherham and Manchester out of fear of appearing racist.

In September, French prosecutor Pascal Marconville said that migrants will attempt to mitigate the costs paid to traffickers to cross the English Channel by signing up to work as effective slaves for years after reaching the UK.

“To lower the cost of their crossing, migrants can be employed in England by the criminal organisation with which they will be linked for years,” he said.

Britain’s equivalent to the FBI, the National Crime Agency (NCA), added: “Without permission to work legally, migrants can be exploited and forced into modern slavery or turn to crime to support themselves.”

European-Style Migrant Camps in Britain’s Backyard

As the record waves of illegal boat migrants continued to pour across the English Channel from France and hotels and other migrant housing accommodation quickly filled up, the Home Office began to repurpose military installations to house the overflowing migrant population.

In September, some 431 illegal boat migrants — all of whom are believed to be young men — were moved to the Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent. Another 230 migrants were later moved to another military facility in Pembrokeshire in Wales.

Within days of their arrival at the Napier Barracks, a group of Sudanese illegal migrants complained to the media about the conditions within the camp, proclaiming that they wish they had “stayed in France”.

In November, footage shared on social media showed a gang of migrants within the camp attempting to break down the base’s barricades.

The scenes were reminiscent of those witnessed for years across continental Europe in countries such as Greece, which also converted ex-military barracks into makeshift migrant camps.

In September, the infamous Moria migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos burned to the ground. The former army barracks once housed some 13,000 migrants, despite only being equipped to handle around 3,000 people. Six Afghan migrants were arrested in connection to the fire.

So far, at least eight migrants have absconded from the migrant camp in Kent, as the Home Office admitted this month that the government has lost track of over 37,000 migrants over the past three decades after they either fled from detention centres or skipped on bail.

Another military facility is reportedly being “actively” considered in the small British village of Barton Stacey, which is home to just around 1,000 residents.  The Home Office is planning to build a makeshift camp on a Ministry of Defence property that would house some 500 alleged asylum seekers, most of whom will likely be young males.

petition against the planned migrant camp has received over 3,300 signatures to date.

One woman who signed the petition said: “I’m afraid that I will feel very nervous allowing my children (12 and 10) to walk around the village alone. This is not the right place for such a camp.”

Another said: “As a mother of a teenage daughter, placing this camp close to our village raises enormous concerns for the safety of my daughter and any other females who should have the right to feel safe in their own community.”

Take Back Control?

In the final instalment of Farage Investigates for 2020, the Brexit leader travelled to the proposed site of the migrant camp in Barton Stacey.

Remarking on the banner year for illegal crossings of the English Channel, and the government’s failures to tackle the crisis, Mr Farage said: “I can’t quite work out what sort of madness has gripped us.”

“We have got a massive problem. It is costing us billions and billions of pounds, it is causing social problems and I want to say this: I have no doubt a real question here of national security,” Mr Farage warned.

“We do not have a clue who we’re letting in and when we get people here they’re simply able as we’ve seen at Napier barracks to abscond just disappear into the community,” he explained.

The government has promised that following the completion of the Brexit transition period at the end of the year, they will seek to pass stricter immigration laws. However, Mr Farage pointed out that the UK will still be bound by the European human rights regime, under which migrants can appeal their deportation on humanitarian grounds.

“I don’t look forward to 2021, frankly, with any prospect of this situation improving, I really don’t,” Mr Farage concluded.

In November, Home Secretary Priti Patel agreed to send a further £28 million to France to ostensibly pay for French authorities to stage increased patrols of beaches used by migrants to set sail for the UK. Since 2014, the UK has sent some £192 million to France to stop illegal immigration.

The recently inked deal makes no mention, however, of any agreement on immediately returning migrants in the Channel to France, which the former Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, has claimed is the only way to halt the flow of boat migration.

In 2013, Mr Abbott’s government launched the Operation Sovereign Borders, under which migrant boats are intercepted at sea and either returned to their country of origin or brought to offshore processing centres. The programme has effectively cut off all illegal boat migration to the country since its implementation.

Speaking to Nigel Farage in July, Mr Abbott said: “As long as the French facilitate their passage, France will have a problem as well as Britain. If it takes a bit of toughness on Britain’s part — Bojo has his mojo, let’s face it — let’s send them back.”

While the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson has secured the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, it remains to be seen if the government has the ability, or indeed the political will, to actually ‘take back control’ of the country’s borders after Brexit.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka

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