‘New Year, Same Scandal’: Farage Releases Footage of First Boat Migrants Landing After Brexit

UK Border Force officials travel in a RIB with migrants picked up at sea whilst Crossing the English Channel, as they arrive at the Marina in Dover, southeast England on August 15, 2020. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

Brexit leader Nigel Farage released footage at the weekend of what appear to be the first illegal boat migrants landing in Britain following the country’s departure from the European Union.

In releasing the footage, Mr Farage remarked on social media: “New year, same scandal” as British Border Force officials were seen taking the migrants ashore after travelling across the English Channel from France.

BBC reporter Simon Jones confirmed the crossings on Sunday, saying that there were 10 migrants brought ashore at the Port of Dover on Saturday.

Jones reported that the Home Office claimed that French officials had stopped an additional twenty migrants from making the treacherous journey.

A spokesman for the Home Office said: “We have already made changes to the Immigration Rules which ensured that when the UK was no longer subject to the Dublin Regulation, there is continuity in our legal powers to treat cases as inadmissible if they involve a claimant who has travelled through the EU.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel has vowed to “crackdown on illegal immigration and reform the broken asylum system” following Brexit, however, it remains to be seen whether the nominally Conservative government will implement a tougher system.

While the UK has left the EU’s Dublin agreement asylum system, the country has yet to secure an agreement with the bloc or indeed any individual country on returning illegal migrants.

Following Brexit, the UK should be able to start rejecting asylum claims from migrants intercepted at sea, however, some lawmakers have called on the government to implement a ‘stop the boats’ policy, such as the one implemented in Australia.

The Conservative Party MP for Dover and Deal, Natalie Elphicke said: “We need the French to stop the boats leaving in the first place, return boats in the Channel to France instead of bringing them into Britain, and return people who come into our country through these routes.”

“All options must be on the table,” she added.

An analysis conducted by the Press Association found that the number of illegal migrants who were brought ashore in Britain last year quadrupled the total for 2019, with at least 8,417 landings in 2020 compared to 1,890 in the previous year.

The true number of crossings is likely to be much higher in reality, however, as the figures do not account for those migrants who landed in the country clandestinely.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka

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