Farage Calls for Royal Navy to Push Back Boat Migrants to France as 50,000 Cross Under Sunak

Leader of Reform UK Nigel Farage stands in front of a van reading "Rishi Sunak won't stop
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage has called for the Royal Navy to intervene in the migrant crisis as he took to the English Channel once again on Tuesday as 50,000 illegals reached British shores since Prime Minister Rishi Sunak came into power.

With a little over a week left before Britons head to the polls for the July 4th early general election called by Prime Minister Sunak, his government’s failure to “stop the boats” was put on full display as populist challenger Nigel Farage filmed 45 migrants packed in a small rubber dinghy making their way into British territorial waters to be escorted ashore by the Border Force and brought into the country.

The latest crossings take the total to over 13,000 for 2024, an all-time high for the first seven months of any year, and marked 50,000 since Rishi Sunak came into office in 2022.

Mr Farage, who first brought the Channel migrant crisis to national attention over four years ago, has branded this year’s vote as the “migration election” and said that the continued waves demonstrated that “Rishi can’t stop the boats”.

“The significance of this boat is that this number on this vessel take it beyond 50,000 that have come since Rishi Sunak has been Prime Minister. During Boris Johnson’s time, 68,000 came, but he was there for double the period,” he told GB News live from the Channel.

“So don’t delude yourselves, this problem is getting worse. And we’re witnessing a very big, significant number today.”

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Sunak asserted that the migrant crisis would only grow under the Labour Party — which is widely expected to form the next government after the election — citing reports that some migrants are “waiting for a Labour administration” in order to avoid the potential of being removed to Rwanda.

Mr Farage rejected this notion, saying that the so-named Conservatives “don’t bear credibility in any way at all. Were this lot behind me waiting for a Labour government? Were they hell.”

“Over 128,000 people have come, 90 per cent of them young men, many coming from war zones, from areas plagued by terrorism, gang crime, many coming with attitudes towards women that we would find completely unacceptable. I mean, how much worse could it be under Labour that it’s been under him?”

The Rwanda scheme, in which the present government says illegals would be removed to the East African nation to have their asylum claims processed offshore rather than being put up in hotels in Britain, has failed to get off the ground since being first introduced in 2022 by Boris Johnson.

While the plan has seemingly finally passed legal muster in the UK, there is no guarantee that the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) — a technically separate institution from the EU — will not intervene again to stop migrant removal flights as it did in the summer of 2022, derailing the programme for years.

Mr Farage has long argued that the UK should leave the ECHR, saying that an independent Brexit Britain should not allow a European court to have any say over Britain’s migration policies. Sunak, like his two post-Brexit Conservative PM predecessors, has so far refused to withdraw from the agreement.

Farage has also alleged that Sunak called for the early summer election — rather than the typical autumn vote — in order to have Britons go to the polls before flights to Rwanda are blocked by the ECHR or by other means. Indeed, earlier this month, dozens of illegals set for removal to Rwanda were released on bail by the British High Court, effectively leaving them free to abscond within the country to avoid being sent to Africa.

On Tuesday, the Brexit leader lambasted Sunak’s other supposed deterrence policy; sending £480 million to France to step up patrols against people smuggling networks along its coastline. Mr Farage said that the UK should immediately stop paying Paris so long as its Navy continues to escort migrant boats into British waters rather than simply returning them to the beach.

“Why have we given them [the money]? How has this Conservative government been so bad at negotiating? We’ve given them more and more and more whilst allowing this practice to continue. This is a failure of the British Government to have got to where we are,” Farage told The Telegraph.

In addition to arguing for suspending payments to France, the Reform leader called for the Royal Navy to immediately return the migrant boats to French beaches, arguing that only this policy would finally put an end to the deadly human trafficking trade.

“That should have been part of our negotiation – ‘we give you the money, but you stop escorting the boats over.’ Once again, the Government missed that opportunity. Under maritime law, and this goes back to the 1800s, we’re perfectly entitled to pick them up and take them to a place of safety, and France is a safe country.”

“If necessary, yep, the Royal Marines take people back and put them on a French beach. It’ll cause a hell of a row, just as Tony Abbott sending boats back to Indonesia caused a row, but you do it to a few and they stop paying smugglers.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on X: or e-mail to: kzindulka@breitbart.com


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