Farage: Brexit Britain Must Get a Grip on Immigration

Migrants climb into the back of lorries bound for Britain while traffic is stopped upon waiting to board shuttles at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel site in Calais, northern France, on December 10, 2020. - The French port of Calais continues to attract migrants from the Middle East and …
DENIS CHARLET/AFP via Getty Images

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage has said that Boris Johnson’s government “must get a grip” not only on legal immigration, but stop the flow of illegal aliens from coming across the English Channel.

The UK saw nearly 8,500 illegals make it from Europe, predominantly France, across the English Channel in small boats last year. A Europol report from last week revealed that the total number of attempted illegal crossings by boat — including successful, intercepted, and where evidence of illegal crossing was found — was 15,000 for the whole of 2020.

So massive is the increase that as well as housing migrants in hotels, disused army barracks are being repurposed to hold the surge of mostly young men coming illegally from the developing world.

Mr Farage shared on social media on Sunday footage of illegals housed at Penally Army Centre near the small Welsh village of Tenby protesting, because their free accommodation they are receiving courtesy of the British taxpayer is not up to their standards. Similar protests have taken place at the barracks-turned-open-migrant-centre in Folkestone, England, with reportedly hundreds of men recently going on hunger strike.

“When it comes to illegal immigration into Britain, we’re now housing 60,000 people”, Mr Farage said, noting that in the first two weeks of 2021 alone, 250 have already crossed the Channel.

“Now it would appear that one of the reasons for the protest in Tenby is they don’t like the conditions. They say they are entitled to a more normal life. They are only entitled to it if their claim for refugee status is successful. But the Home Office committee themselves say that 81 per cent of those come into the country don’t even qualify for asylum because they’ve come already from a safe country,” he said.

The Brexit leader also expressed some slight relief that the government has shut down all travel corridors, meaning that travellers must prove a recent negative coronavirus test and then self-quarantine. The Brexit leader has been criticising the government’s coronavirus response for locking down Britons in their homes while external borders remain open. But Mr Farage noted that the measures were too little, too late, after some 18 million people entered the UK in the months leading up to the first lockdown in March, with the Brexiteer stating that “we literally did import this virus”.

However, he claimed he was aware of accounts of EU migrants, specifically from Romania, coming to the UK across the Channel legally in vans and small coaches numbered in the tens and twenties “after the deadline had expired”. Suggesting it was still “far too easy” to get into the UK, Mr Farage expressed little confidence that those travelling by Channel Tunnel or ferry would be subject to the same stringent rules as air passengers.

“Perhaps the easiest way to come into the UK is to hire or steal an inflatable RIB [rigid inflatable boat] or pay a criminal gang and come across the channel, because that is still open for business,” Mr Farage quipped.

“Taking back control of our borders. Do you remember that? The 23rd of June, 2016, millions of you went out and voted for us to get back proper border controls so that we can decide who came into Britain and on what terms,” Mr Farage remarked, later asking: “Are we actually taking back control of our borders?”

“It seems to me that this problem isn’t going away,” Mr Farage said, adding that in order for the UK to take back control of immigration would be if the government gave the clear message that those who come illegally to the UK would be sent back.

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