Tony Blair’s former home secretary says he fears if a theoretical Labour government reacted to the border crisis by making mass migration easier, voters may revolt and “Nigel Farage might end up being prime minister”.
David Blunkett, now a peer in the House of Lords, served as the home secretary in charge of borders and immigration under former ‘New Labour’ Prime Minister Tony Blair between 2001 and 2004.
Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday his thoughts on suggestions from the left-wing that migrants have a legal right to come to Britain to seek asylum and that they should be brought over in ferries, Lord Blunkett offered what appeared to be a warning to his party the consequences of embracing such a policy, because it could see the rise, again, of their greatest political adversary, Nigel Farage.
“Well, the numbers [of migrants who would come] might not be [huge], but Nigel Farage might end up being prime minister and that could even be worse than what we have got at the moment,” the Labour lord told the BBC.
The suggestion that the best solution to illegal migration — which can often be extremely dangerous for the migrants themselves — is simply to make illegal migration legal is a pervasive theme in European left-wing circles. Now the idea is gaining traction in the UK, but it comes at a time where the official opposition party seems as far away from power as ever.
The left-wing Labour Party already suffered its worst election defeat since 1935 in the December 2019 General Election, after promising to “establish safe and legal routes for asylum seekers”. Further, Farage had hurt Labour’s chances at reclaiming 10 Downing Street when, even by Labour shadow minister John McDonnell’s admission, the Brexit Party stole working-class votes from Labour in the North over Brexit, after Labour promised to hold a second EU referendum to overturn the democratically expressed will of the people.
Labour should not be the only party concerned that taking the side against the voters on the English Channel migrant crisis could result in a heavy loss at the polling stations, with sources in the Conservative Party’s government likewise raising the alarm.
French Lash Out over Migrant Crisis Letter, ‘Priti Patel Is No Longer Invited’ https://t.co/awsnafVdrR
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 26, 2021
Migrant crossings have exceeded 25,000, some three times more than the whole of last year, and after the deaths of 27 migrants off the coast of France this week, London appears to be in another fruitless tussle with Paris over France taking responsibility for the migrants amassing on its border.
Last week, Conservative MPs told The Times that unless Boris Johnson fulfils his election and EU referendum campaign pledges of ‘Taking Back Control’ of the country’s borders, then voters will think the prime minister had failed, with one telling the newspaper of record: “The message at the last election was Get Brexit Done. People will not believe that when thousands of migrants are turning up on beaches in Kent every day.”
After the migrant deaths, MPs divulged to the newspaper that Johnson was warned the out-of-control migrant crisis “is something that is going to be a vote loser”.
Farage had put pressure on the Tories before, with the rising popularity of the Eurosceptic party at the time, UKIP, in the first decade of the new millennium forcing the notionally conservative and Europhile Prime Minister David Cameron to promise a referendum on EU membership in 2013, in a bid to keep UKIP out of the Commons. Cameron lost in his attempt to keep the UK in the EU on June 23rd, 2016, promptly resigning the next day.
Farage Slams Border Force, Priti Patel as ‘Not Fit for Purpose’ After Boat Migrant Deaths https://t.co/21ucZl7zrw
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 25, 2021
The Brexiteer then put the Conservatives in their place in the 2019 European Parliament election — specifically, in fifth place, far behind Farage’s winning Brexit Party — when after three years since the Brexit vote, the Theresa May administration had failed to fulfil the will of the people. Days before the elections, Theresa May resigned, in part likely due to dire polling ahead of the European vote but also her inability to pass her soft Brexit deal through the House of Commons.
Johnson could yet be a Farage trophy, when this week, the Brexit leader said he had not ruled out a return to frontline politics if the prime minister can’t get to grips with the Channel migrant crisis.
Farage continued: “Johnson is ultimately responsible for guarding his people… This is the sacred duty of any prime minister. It should override all others. Yet the present occupant of 10 Downing Street seems to have abandoned his post.”
Brexit leader Nigel Farage has threatened to return to frontline politics if Prime Minister Boris Johnson fails to tackle the illegal boat migrant crisis. https://t.co/ZqNZO4e0bf
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 23, 2021