Migrant Crisis: Nigel Farage Challenges Home Secretary Priti Patel to Come to the Border

BOLTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22: Nigel Farage, MEP and Vice Chairman of the pro-Brexit Leave Means Leave organisation, gives a speech while attending a Leave Means Leave rally held at the University of Bolton Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Bolton, England. The Bolton rally is the first in a …
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Home Secretary Priti Patel should visit Britain’s border in Dover to witness the scale of the illegal boat migration crisis, Brexit leader Nigel Farage said after witnessing more migrants being ferried off to “four-star” hotels from the beaches of Dungeness.

“I am challenging now Priti Patel, come and visit Dover, come and visit Dungeness, come and speak to these people who have to deal with this every single day,” Mr Farage said on Monday afternoon.

“The lifeboats, the RNLI, been here for 160 years, is it their job to be a taxi service?” he questioned.

“Priti Patel, I am asking you to come here and see what’s really going on,” Farage urged.

The Brexiteer was speaking with a group of around 20 illegal migrants — all of whom appeared to be young men — were being processed by immigration officials before being loaded onto a coach.

“Nice luxury coach all ready, whisked off, go through basic preliminaries, COVID tests and then it’s off to a four-star hotel, I mean what’s not to like?” Farage joked.

“This is going to go on and on, and this is on the day that Priti Patel told us that there are going to be offshore detention centres… It isn’t going to happen, you know it’s not, I know it’s not,” he said.

Appearing on GB News later that evening, Mr Farage said that Home Secretary Priti Patel’s purported plan to ship asylum seekers to a UK-Denmark joint migrant centre in Africa is nothing more an empty promise meant to appease the Conservative base.

“We have seen since the summer of 2019, our Home Secretary consistently make promise after promise as to how she would stop this problem. We were going to have drones, we were going to have the [Royal Air Force], we were going to do this, we were going to do that,” he said.

The Brexit leader said that while sending migrants to offshore locations was the initial phase of Australia’s wildly successful Operation Sovereign Borders policy, he noted that ultimately it was former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s decision to send the boats back to Indonesia which actually halted the flow of boat migrants.

“Nearly every one of these vessels coming into the UK is being escorted by the French Navy until it gets across into British waters, whereupon Border Force and our magnificent RNLI then act as a taxi service,” Farage said.

He said that there will be no legal option available to the British government to deport asylum seekers to a third country for processing their applications, as the UK is still bound by the European Convention on Human Rights, despite leaving the European Union at the beginning of the year.

“Once again, it’s Priti Patel making promises that she can’t deliver,” he said.

Farage said that Britain must tell France that “we will no longer accept the French Navy escorting illegal dinghies out of their waters into ours, we are no longer a member of the European Union.”

The Brexiteer said that the UK should unilaterally send the boats back to France and cite the 1951 Geneva Convention on refugee status, which mandates that migrants claim asylum status in the first safe country they reach, with prosperous France certainly fitting the bill.

Farage said that the Conservative government should be “ashamed” that it has allowed the crisis to fester, with many of the migrants who illegally enter the country winding up in modern-day slavery in exchange for being given passage to Britain by human trafficking gangs.

He went on to say that the illegal migrants coming to the UK are not in fact refugees, saying the waves of mostly young men are in reality nothing more than “economic migrants, pursuing an economic dream.”

“They have deserted their families from their home countries and many of them will finish up as slaves or working in crime in Britain. We should be ashamed.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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