Tuesday 11 August 2020

It's time to declare an emergency in the Channel, says Farage

Nigel Farage, deprived of his radio gig by the demonic forces of the Left, has taken to plastering images of dinghies all over Twitter. These show an immigrant invasion on a par with, well, the last such invasion Nige dreamed about.

"In the face of the kind of unwarranted abuse to which I have become accustomed," says St Nigel the martyr, it's time to go with the Australian method of putting brown people on an island and denying them medical help (I paraphrase). Given the only suitable island we have is the Isle Of Wight, Farage might find his natural constituency a little miffed.

Still, read on for the wit and wisdom of the great statesman. Or check out the rather more truthful Don't be fooled by the myth of a 'migrant invasion' by Daniel Trilling.

Also read the story of Zhena by Cole Moreton.

Chris Philp, the Government's minister for immigration compliance, would like voters to believe that he has begun to take the topic of illegal migrants crossing the Channel seriously. Responding to the recent record numbers who repeatedly attempt to make this unlawful journey onto UK shores, he spoke of them facing "real consequences".

Such language is clearly designed to make everybody think that a change in policy is coming. Exactly a year ago, however, Boris Johnson made similar comments, claiming that illegal immigrants would be returned to France. Yet consider the latest statistics: there were 235 arrivals on Thursday; 146 on Friday; and 150 on Saturday.

All statements on this urgent matter will remain hollow and meaningless until there is real political action, and it needs to come soon. I have spent much of the lockdown period investigating illegal immigration via the Channel. It is a practical matter, whatever anybody says.

In the face of the kind of unwarranted abuse to which I have become accustomed, I predicted that there would be a summer invasion. With up to 4,000 people logged officially this year already, who can say I was wrong?

Taxpayers are becoming increasingly vexed about this issue. They know it is unacceptable at every level. They also realise that it amounts to a national humiliation. Of all the reasons for voting Brexit in 2016, the desire for Britain to control its borders properly was the single thing that increased turnout at the referendum and resulted in the Leave vote.

Now I will make another prediction. The media will - finally - turn its attention to the next phase of this story: four-star hotels all over the country housing immigrants at an estimated cost to the public purse of £4 billion over the next decade. There can be little doubt that the political problems for the Government will worsen unless the nettle is grasped quickly.

Chris Philp has also stated that there are "legislative, legal and operational barriers" to progress. In this he is right, but the problem is not insurmountable. The traffickers in Calais continue in their illegal trade for two main reasons. First, not enough individuals who have made it to Britain by these means have been returned this year, meaning others know it is worth paying the money and taking the chance.

The second reason is that the final Brexit deal may make 2020 the last year that such crossings are possible. As a result of the UK being in the transition period, the EU's Dublin regulations still apply.

The upshot of this is that the practice of an individual claiming refugee status in the first safe country they reach has been turned on its head. We are now in a situation where what might be called "asylum shopping" has been allowed to take hold in which - under EU rules - the UK is favoured as an ultimate destination over France because of the extraordinary generosity shown by this country to illegal immigrants.

I would argue in the strongest terms that Britain cannot afford to wait until January 2021 for any rule changes to come into force. The time has come already to declare an emergency. This would be far better than sending a few Royal Navy vessels into the Channel where, as things stand, they would simply join the Border Force and RNLI in becoming a taxi service.

The real answer to this problem lies with following the lead provided by the government of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott several years ago. Like Abbott's administration, Boris Johnson needs to make it clear that nobody who enters Britain illegally having arrived via France will qualify for refugee status. This is the only realistic solution. Naturally the human rights legal lobby, the United Nations, and those in our society who are soft-headed would cry foul at this. The voting public would cheer the government to the rafters, though.

People know that stopping this illegal trade is not just about satisfying public opinion on border controls. Neither is it simply about spending billions of pounds of taxpayers' money on services which those same taxpayers rely, instead of funding tens of thousands of people who have never paid into the system. No, it is also about national security.

The vast majority of those who come to Britain illegally are young men about whom very little is known. The chances of them integrating into British society and sharing British values are, in most cases, remote. And it is likely that some of them will be active sympathisers with Isil and other extremist groups, as other European nations can testify

Unless Johnson acts quickly, one of his chief legacies will be to have stored up a huge problem for the future of this country. Does he really want to be remembered for this?


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