UK Border Force Refuses to Turn Migrant Boats Back to France

DOVER, ENGLAND - JULY 21: Migrant men arrive at Dover Port after being picked up in the English Channel by the Border Force on July 21, 2021 in Dover, England. On Monday, 430 migrants crossed the channel from France, a record for a single day. To stem the rising numbers, …
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Britain’s Border Force is refusing to turn migrant boats back to France in direct opposition to the policy laid out by Home Secretary Priti Patel, as another twenty illegal migrants were brought ashore on Tuesday morning.

In stark contrast to the migrant situation in Poland, where border authorities are currently preventing thousands of Middle Eastern migrants from breaking into their country from Belarus, the UK’s Border Force is continuing to ferry illegals onto British soil.

So far this year, over 21,000 boat migrants have illegally crossed the English Channel from France, many of whom were brought ashore by either the Border Force or the Royal National Lifeboat Institute after setting sail in small rubber boats from the beaches of France.

The crisis in the English Channel has shown no signs of slowing down, as another twenty made the journey on Tuesday morning, the Daily Mail reported.

In October, Home Secretary Priti Patel said that in light of the record numbers of illegal crossings, the government would finally adopt a “turn back the boats” approach and send boat migrants back to France, which as a safe and wealthy EU member state should be where the migrants claim asylum.

The Border Force, which has been accused of actually travelling into French territorial waters to pick up migrants and bring them back to Britian, has so far rejected the plan, citing concerns about weather conditions and the size of the boats being intercepted in the Channel.

Over the weekend, a Border Force officer told The Times: “There is fairly universal agreement that this is not likely to ever happen.

“The captains of the cutters have control of the process and in practice, if they’re not willing to use it, it will never happen.

“We will not be easily pushed about by Priti Patel. But ultimately it’s a decision for the captain and nothing can override the right to captain their vessel.”

The turn back the boats tactic involves three Border Force jet skis nudging migrant boats around and directing them back to France. Safety protocols mandate that the measure is only deployed in a certain section of the English Channel which is 1.8 miles wide.

The commander of the operation would only be able to initiate the tactic if there is confirmation that either the French Navy or a rescue ship is in the vicinity in order to safely escort the migrants back.

Other safety limits, including assesment of weather and sea conditions, the size of the migrant boat, and whether the illegals have lifejackets on, must also before being the tactic being implemented.

Yet the head of the pro-migrant charity Channel Rescue Kim Bryan critisised the proposaled pushback, warning of potentially “horrific” consequences.

“These boats are incredibly flimsy. Just the wash from jet-skis going around them in the first place could cause them to capsize. What we will be seeing, then, if this starts happening, is tragedy. The consequences are going to be horrific,” she said.

Despite promises from the supposedly Conservative government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which promised to take back control of Britain’s borders after leaving the European Union, the government has so far failed to stem the tide of illegal crossings of the English Channel, with both 2020 this year setting record numbers.

Last week also saw the largest single-day total, with a record 853 migrants crossing on Wednesday.

The difference in governance between the Conservative governments of the UK and Poland was put on full display on Monday, with footage compiled by Breitbart London from Polish officials showing troops, border officers, and police preventing a wave of 3,000 Mid-East migrants from breaching the border with Belarus.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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