Farage Slams Border Force, Priti Patel as ‘Not Fit for Purpose’ After Boat Migrant Deaths

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 …
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Brexit leader Nigel Farage has slammed the Border Force, the Home Office, and Home Secretary Priti Patel as “not fit for purpose” after at least 27 migrants drowned off the coast of France attempting to reach the United Kingdom. While conservative grandee Ann Widdecombe has said that Britain must remove the “magnets” that draw illegals to come to Britain, including the illegal economy and the often rightly-proved assumption that to arrive in the UK is to remain, with little real danger of deportation.

Overnight saw the estimated numbers of illegals dead from drowning in the English Channel downgraded from 31 to 27, but the International Organization for Migration has stated that the figure remains the highest number to have died in a single event in the English Channel since the body began keeping records in 2014.

A blame game between British and French authorities has since ensued — and in some measure, has continued — over who is responsible for allowing the dangerous crossings to occur.

Brexit leader Nigel Farage has been criticising the British government in the past for failing to do anything meaningful about stopping the illegal crossings — now in excess of 25,000 this year — saying last night as the news broke of the deaths: “Border Force and the Home Office are not fit for purpose, and neither is Priti Patel.”

Farage had in the past blamed Home Secretary Patel — the minister who oversees the Home Office and Border Force — for failing to get to grips with the growing crisis, which has now resulted in a large loss of life.

Before the drownings, Mr Farage had been filming a segment in the Channel on the migrant crisis for GB News, where he had warned that incidents could occur in such a busy body of water.

Speaking during his Farage programme on Wednesday night, the Brexit leader said: “Within an hour or two of saying it was only a matter of time or that it would happen very soon, a major incident took place… I wasn’t shocked at all, surprised, to be honest, that it didn’t happen earlier.”

Within hours, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held an emergency Cabinet COBRA meeting, later signalling to media that France was at fault for not doing enough to prevent the dangerous and illegal crossings, which the French hit back, telling London to “abstain from instrumentalizing a tragic situation for political purposes”.

London had already signed off on the first instalment of £54 million to Paris to support them stopping the boats, though ministers reportedly believe that they will get no help from the Élysée, fearing President Emmanuel Macron is using the migrant crisis both as a political tool at home ahead of next year’s election, and to punish Britain for Brexit.

Speaking to Mr Farage on Wednesday night, former Conservative MP and Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe said that the news of the deaths was “shocking”, but that she had expected it would happen.

“This is a tragedy that has been pending for a very long time,” Ms Widdecombe said.

Saying of the Johnson administration’s response, the conservative said: “It’s all very well declaring this an emergency situation. We have had an emergency now for a very long time indeed.”

Indeed, since 2001, there were issues will illegals attempting to cross from France to the UK, and in an attempt to solve the crisis of the migrant centre Sangatte, France and Britain signed the Le Touquet agreement in 2003, which allowed both countries to set up immigration controls at each other’s borders.

Widdecombe continued: “I’ve been saying for 20 years that the only way we’re going to deal with this is to remove the magnet that draws people here when they’re already in a perfectly safe country [France]. that magnet is is that if they think they can get into Britain, they’re very, very unlikely to be removed.”

The former conservative lawmaker would appear to be correct, following reports, notably since the beginning of the recent Channel migrant crisis in early 2019, that only a tiny percentage of illegal boat migrants crossing the Channel have been deported. Of the more than 23,000 illegals who had arrived this year as of last week, the government admitted that just five people have been returned to their last safe country of residence.

She also stated that the UK is “one of the easiest countries to disappear if they think their [asylum] claims are going to be turned down. We don’t practice detention, no national identity cards. We do have a flourishing black economy. It’s very, very easy to disappear.”

Similar comments were made by French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who claimed Britain’s illegal labour market for acting as a draw for mass migration, saying that the British black economy “mostly works thanks to a reserve army, as Marx would say, of irregular workers who can be hired at low cost”.

Farage had also in the past blamed Britain’s generous welfare state and the ease with which failed asylum seekers can appeal the Immigration office’s decision, saying “even when you get rejected, you don’t get removed”, referencing suicide bomber Emad Al Swealmeen, who remained in the country despite twice having his asylum claim rejected because he was allowed to appeal.

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