Farage: Deploying Navy to Channel Migrant Crisis is ‘Expensive Taxi Service’

DOVER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage speaks to supporters and media on August 12, 2020 in Dover, England. Favourable weather conditions in recent weeks have led to a rise in people attempting to cross the channel, with more than 200 people arriving on the Kent coast …
Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images

The British government’s latest plans to use the navy to tackle illegal migration have faced staunch criticism from Nigel Farage as well as Conservative MPs.

The Conservative-led UK government announced on the 16th of January 2022 that the Royal Navy would be put in charge of all Border Force vessels in the English Channel in an effort to tackle Britain’s migration crisis.

The move to appoint the navy is widely believed to be part of the government’s ‘Operation Red Meat’ strategy which contains an array of plans to appeal both to voters and also try and restore Conservative Members of Parliament’s faith in the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in a time of repeated government scandal.

This move, however, has been lambasted by conservative figures with Brexit Boss Nigel Farage branding it an “expensive taxi service”, articulating that deploying military ships would be unlikely to actually turn back migrants. Instead, it would very probably be more and better-trained resources tasked with bringing boat migrants ashore to Britain.

“Using the Royal Navy to ferry migrants into Dover is a waste of military resources and a more expensive taxi service than border force”, Farage said speaking exclusively to Breitbart London.

Conservative MPs have also turned on their party leader Johnson and criticised the move to bring in the Navy.

Veteran Conservative MP and former minister Sir Edward Leigh branded the scheme an “embarrassment” and said that migrants will not be deterred from coming to Britain. Leigh called for the government to instead remove the “pull factors” that attract illegal migrants to the UK, such as hotel accommodation and a weekly allowance.

Other critics have identified further pull factors such as Britain’s black market for labour, which allows illegals to work and live under the radar with comparative ease and with little fear of being deported.

Philip Hollobone the Conservative MP for Kettering said: “This isn’t Operation Red Meat, it’s Operation Dog’s Dinner”.

“So what the minister has effectively announced . . . is asylum seekers only need to get halfway across the Channel before being intercepted by the Royal Navy. This is going to incentivise people traffickers”, Hollobone continued.

The other main component of the government’s new illegal migration clampdown strategy — that being deporting and holding illegal crossers overseas in countries such as Ghana and Rwanda — has also received a severe blow.

The Ghanaian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on Twitter that said “Ghana has not engaged with the UK on any such plan and does not intend to consider any such operation”.

The Ghanaian Ministry also made a jibe at Boris Johnson by referring to the plan — perhaps somewhat insensitively, given migrant deaths in the channel — as “Operation Dead Meat”.

Britain has struggled with an influx of illegal migrants with a record number of 28,000 entering the United Kingdom in 2021, and more than 770 already making the deadly crossing in 2022.

The British asylum system has been overwhelmed by the number of migrants crossing, and prison inspectors have branded the facilities used to house illegal migrants as “inadequate”. One migrant facility in Kent was reported to have to temporarily house illegal migrants in tents due to the vast numbers of arrivals.

The cost to the British taxpayer of housing these illegal migrants has been estimated to have been at least £1.4 billion in the 2020/2021 recording period.

 

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