Boris Shuts All Travel Corridors, But Migrant Boats Keep on Coming

DOVER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Migrants arrive in port aboard a Border Force vessel after being intercepted while crossing the English Channel from France in small boats on August 11, 2020 in Dover, England. In recent weeks large numbers of migrants have travelled in small boats across the English channel, …
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Thirty-six illegal boat migrants were brought ashore by the UK Border Force on Saturday, just one day after Boris Johnson shut down travel to Britain amidst fears of new mutant strains of the Chinese coronavirus.

Brexit leader Nigel Farage shared footage of some of the illegal migrants arriving in the country after they sailed from France across the English Channel on Saturday.

Mr Farage wrote on social media: “The travel corridors are closed today, but one remains very much open. 30 more illegal migrants into Dover again this morning.”

The Home Office revealed that the actual number of illegals that landed was in fact 36, while claiming that French authorities stopped an additional 27 from reaching British territorial waters, the Daily Mail reported.

So far this year, over 200 boat migrants have landed in Britain, despite the British officially ending its informal “transition” membership of the EU at the beginning of the year.

Last year saw a record number of illegal migrants cross the Channel, with at least 8,417 illegal migrants making the perilous journey, compared to 1,890 in the year prior.

On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that in light of new variants of the coronavirus being discovered, with the latest in Brazil, the British government will be closing all travel corridors which had previously allowed quarantine-free travel to the United Kingdom.

This apparently did not deter boat migrants from attempting to illegally enter the country, or persuade the British government to finally begin turning them back at sea instead of bringing them to shore, as if France was not a perfectly safe country.

Home Secretary Priti Patel had vowed to “crack down on illegal immigration and reform the broken asylum system” following the end of the EU transition.

This month the government said that it would begin refusing asylum claims from migrants who are intercepted at sea, for example.

Yet, the British government has so far failed to secure any deal with the EU or any individual member-states in relation to the return of failed asylum seekers, and seems unwilling to turn them back without an agreement — meaning there is no system in place for the Home Office to actually deport the illegal migrants at present.

Commenting on the latest boatloads of illegal aliens, the government minister for immigration compliance and the courts, Chris Philp, trotted out the standard line from the government, saying: “These are illegally facilitated crossings and migrants should be claiming asylum in the first safe country they reach” and “The Government continues to undertake substantial steps to tackle the unacceptable problem of illegal migration, including legislative changes so crossings of this nature are treated as inadmissible where migrants have travelled through a safe EU country.”

“The Government will continue to seek to return those with no legal right to remain in the UK,” Philp concluded.

Earlier this week, a report from Europol found that over 15,000 illegal migrants attempted to cross the English Channel in small rubber boats, noting that the United Kingdom remains “among the preferred destination countries” for illegals, despite supposedly “taking back control” of its borders.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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