Exclusive — Richard Tice: Boris Johnson Doesn’t Have the ‘Political Guts’ to Stop Illegal Immigration

Kurt Zindulka / Breitbart News

Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not have the “political guts” to take a firm line on the illegal boat migrant crisis in the English Channel and send the aliens back to France, Reform UK leader Richard Tice told Breitbart London.

Over 23,500 boat migrants have crossed the English Channel this year, nearly three times as many as made the dangerous journey last year.

Despite the record-breaking numbers of illegal landings, Prime Minster Boris Johnson’s Tory government has been unable or unwilling to take a firm line with France — where the vast majority of the boat migrants came to Britain from — or indeed the EU as a whole, having only successfully deported five illegals back to the bloc during the whole of this year.

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart London, Reform UK leader Richard Tice — who is running for Parliament in the upcoming special by-election for the Sidcup seat — said that the government has been “incompetent” and cowardly in the face of the growing crisis.

Mr Tice said that the government is “woefully” failing in its duty to secure the nation’s borders, arguing that migrants should be turned directly back to France, a safe and prosperous nation from which refugees have no justification to flee from.

He argued that the waves of migrant boats would cease within “two or three days” if the government began merely sending them back to France, which he said can be justified under existing international law, a claim which the French have denied.

“There will be some difficult discussions with the EU and with France, but this will stop and it will stop fast,” Mr Tice said.

As to why he felt Mr Johnson or Home Secretary Priti Patel have yet to adopt such an approach, the Reform UK leader said: “We just haven’t got the political guts, the political will to do it.”

Despite the UK agreeing to send the French an additional £54 million to step up enforcement against the people smuggling trade and patrols of beaches in Calais, the crisis has only intensified. Last week, a new daily record of 1,185 migrants were brought ashore in Britain in a 24-hour period. This week, an estimated 1,135 migrants landed on Tuesday, representing the second-highest figure recorded.

Following a meeting between Home Secretary Priti Patel and her French counterpart Gérald Darmanin on Monday, the UK government claimed that France had agreed to work with the British to stop “100 per cent” of illegal crossings of the Channel.

This was disputed by the French Embassy, which wrote on social media: “For the record, the 100% figure was not agreed between the Home Secretary and French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin and should not be presented as an agreed commitment: it is not. And it is not part of the joint statement.”

Prior to the meeting on Monday, Darmanin said per The Telegraph that Britain was not in a position to “give lessons” to France on illegal immigration, adding that the UK “should stop using us as a punch ball in their domestic politics”.

Aside from being stymied by the French, the government has also been unable to corral its own Border Force to stop acting as a “taxi service” for illegal migrants and turn back the boats.

Last week, the union representing Border Force officers, PCS, said that it would begin launching legal action to prevent the government from forcing the agency from actually protecting the UK’s sea border, citing concerns over safety.

The outgoing head of the Border Force was even quoted as having complained that “bloody borders” are a “pain in the bloody ass” and that “we are all human beings”.

Reform UK leader Richard Tice said that civil servants are “deliberately” trying to undermine the intentions of the government. He argued that the government is in need of “competent ministers” brought in from the private sector who have the courage to stand up to the deep state bureaucracy.

Tice said that civil servants need to be told to “either deliver on this agenda or frankly get out of the way.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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