Tow the Boats Back to France to Stop Channel Migrant Crisis, Farage Tells Govt

DUNGENESS, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: A group of around 40 migrants arrive via the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) on Dungeness beach on August 04, 2021 in Dungeness, England. UK Home Secretary Priti Patel recently said that the government would seek to criminalise irregular migration, accusing people smugglers of "exploiting …
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Brexit leader Nigel Farage has told the government that the only way to stop the migrant crisis in the English Channel is to “tow the boats back to Calais harbour”.

Last week, the number of illegal migrants, mostly from the third world and departing overwhelmingly from France, crossing the English Channel hit the 10,000 mark, with 10,500 arriving on British shores since the beginning of this year.

Farage again urged the government to get tough on illegal migration, saying that with all the surveillance powers at Britain’s control, nothing would be more effective and send a stronger message to smugglers and illegal aliens than to simply turn back the boats to France.

Speaking to GB News’s Dan Wooton on Tuesday, Mr Farage said: “There is only one way you can stop this: you have to say that nobody that comes via this route will be allowed to stay or claim refugee status even if they’re genuine. It’s a hard thing to do. And then you take the boats and tow them back to France.”

The Brexit leader’s suggestion is largely in line with that of Australia’s anti-mass migration policy Operation Sovereign Borders, which dramatically lowered the number of attempted boat landings by intercepting smuggler boats at sea and either returning them straight to the shores from which they departed or taking them to offshore processing centres.

“That would drive the French and Brussels [the notional capital of the EU] absolutely potty,” Mr Farage said. “They would go mad. We’d be condemned by the United Nations, condemned by everybody, but it would bring the French to the negotiating table because at the moment, Macron won’t speak to us.”

A year ago, Australia’s former Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that until he introduced Operation Sovereign Borders, his island nation was in a similar situation of patrolling the waters and picking up migrants unseaworthy vessels, bringing them to Australian shores until he turned the boats back.

Like Australia had issues with countries including Indonesia that failed to stop people smugglers leaving from their shores, Abbott said in June 2020 that the French must take responsibility for illegals and traffickers using their country as a transit for illegal migration, warning, now presciently, that unless Britain got tough, the numbers crossing the Channel would only increase.

Farage also criticised the benefits given to illegals upon their arrival, which acts as an incentive for others to make the journey, saying: “You can put the entirety of the Royal Navy in the Channel if you want. You can add Border Force to it. You can add the lifeboats. You can add whatever you want. You can put the RAF up in the sky. You can put drones up, you can do whatever you want.

“None of it makes a single bit of difference if every time a boat crosses into British waters they are taken into Dover, processed, given dental care, given health care, four-star hotels, and £38 a week spending money, and three square meals a day. Because that’s what we’re doing.”

“Until we’re prepared to take that action, tow the boats back to Calais harbour, and say, ‘You’re a safe country. Back to you’, until we do it, nothing will change,” Farage said.

While Mr Farage had predicted just weeks ago the total figure could be 20,000, he revised the number expected to arrive by the end of 2021 to be more like 30,000.

The 10,500 figure is only the official number, however, with an untold number who have absconded straight after landing, often under cover of darkness, without lodging an asylum claim, making the actual number much higher.

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