UK Border Force Sailed Into French Waters to Pick Up Illegal Boat Migrants: Report

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The UK Border Force reportedly travelled into French waters to pick up illegal boat migrants and bring them back to British soil.

A radio conversation between French and British vessels in the English Channel appears to confirm that Britain’s 140ft cutter, the HMC Valiant, travelled into French territorial waters to collect a rubber boat full of migrants.

The conversation, which was obtained by the Daily Mail, sees the Border Force apparently questioning the operators of the French patrol ship Athos on whether they have the “legality” to enter French waters to collect the “slow” moving migrants.

A man with a British accent is heard saying: “The difficulty we have is the vessel is in your waters, and we cannot come into your waters to take the vessel.”

“Would you have a problem if we put our boarding boat into the water near the vessel, however, we will just escort it towards UK waters?” the supposed Border Force officer said.

In response, a man with a French accent said: “We give you legality to do this, no problem.”

According to transponder data seen by the tabloid, the British cutter ventured into French territorial waters before launching an inflatable craft — presumably to pick up the migrants — before coming back to shore at Dover.

There was no suggestion that the migrants were in danger of drowning, meaning that the Border Force was not acting in an emergency situation.

The incident reportedly took place last Saturday when 144 illegal aliens crossed the English Channel from France.

It is currently unknown how many of the migrants were picked up by the Border Force in French territorial waters.

A Home Office spokesman told BBC reporter Simon Jones that they are “urgently investigating the circumstances behind this incident”.

Last May, Brexit leader Nigel Farage exposed the French Navy escorting boat migrants into British territorial waters, where they “handed over” migrants to the UK Border Force, which took them on to British lands at the Port of Dover.

Mr Farage’s findings were confirmed by transponder data from ships in the English Channel seen by Breitbart London.

Further data uncovered recorded a similar meeting of the French Navy and British Border Force just days before the incident off the coast of Pett Level, another migrant landing hotspot highlighted by Farage.

The south coast sailor who provided the radio conversation to the Mail said: “We know the French are escorting migrant boats towards the UK instead of turning them back to France. But this is a first time I have heard of British Border Force collecting migrants on the French side of the Channel.”

“I have suspected it going on for some time, but the radio message that I happened to overhear on a public channel proves it.

‘The French patrol boat captain makes clear the migrants are not in peril at sea. They were travelling slowly towards the UK where they would have been collected by UK Border Force vessels in English waters.’

“I worry that Valiant may have gone into French waters in a hurry to save time on a day when more than 100 migrants were heading from France to Dover. I am sure Border Force were overwhelmed.”

So far this year, over 4,000 illegal migrants have been recorded crossing the English Channel, more than doubling last year’s record wave of boat migration. According to analysis from the Mail, 4,349 migrants have made the journey this year, compared to 1,737 during the same time period last year.

In May, alone, some 1,600 migrants made the crossing, including 336 in just one day.

In November of last year, Home Secretary Priti Patel sent £28 million in taxpayer money to the French in order to step up patrols of the 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.

Patel has repeatedly vowed to fix the UK’s “broken” immigration system for months, however, the waves of migrants have only continued to grow.

The Home Secretary has claimed that the government will seek to empower Border Force agents to send migrant boats back to France, but only if the French agree to a deal on migrant returns.

Patel, who repeatedly promised to resolve the Channel crisis after the end of the Brexit “transition” period in January 2021, has so far refused to take a unilateral approach to sending the boats back, with or without French permission.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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