We Must Stop The ‘taxi Service’ On The Channel


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‘We are being used as a taxi service’

No, it was not Mr Farage who first referred to a ‘taxi service’ for those crossing the English Channel illegally, it was in fact some of the boat crews on the Border Force’s (BF) coastal patrol vessels voicing their concerns to the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) and quoted in a report published by the latter in November 2020 (here).

The report excoriated the government’s slow and ineffectual reaction to the early (successful) crossings that rapidly increased and are now clearly out of control. (See our Channel Tracker for the latest). The problem only looks set to escalate as traffickers seize on the calmer seas.

Those who couch this issue purely in asylum and human rights, to be considered in accordance with the refugee Convention and asylum arrangements and obligations, do genuine asylum seekers a gross disservice. For many of the champions of illegal crossings, this is now now more about their wider aims for open borders and unchecked immigration than asylum. They don’t care two hoots about what the majority of the British public thinks. However much the vested interests may argue to the contrary, it just is not credible that 10,000 people (so far this year), from a variety of countries, have left a safe and wealthy country like France, often having passed through other safe countries, to seek asylum in the UK.

The illegal cross-Channel route is now another significant immigration pathway into the UK. As you know, we make no bones about where we stand on the scale of immigration. It has added 7 million people (this includes children born to migrants) to our population in just 20 years, as the first in a series of papers we are publishing in the coming weeks and into the autumn has shown. Mass immigration has meant huge and rapid change. This has happened without the British people being asked about policies that are having such radical consequences for their lives.

The Channel madness is brilliantly encapsulated in Douglas Murray’s excellent article in The Spectator last week. Do have a read.

Blog of the week

Net Immigration in year to June 2020 estimated to be 247,000 (says Office for National Statistics)

The most recent ‘experimental’ estimates by the ONS put net immigration in the year to June 2020 at just under 250,000 per year. However, a notable feature of debate on this important matter has been the justifiable lack of public confidence in immigration statistics. The Covid pandemic created exceptional circumstances for international travel patterns but serious government failings in managing and measuring data has made the ‘fog of war’ as it relates to how many people are coming to the UK all but impenetrable. This has meant the UK has pretty much been flying blind on immigration statistics during one of the most serious crises ever. We are doing our level best to shed light on what is happening and pressing those responsible for more accurate and detailed, and timely, data on migration flows at this critical  juncture for border policy. See our blog for more.

Migration Watch in the news

Migration Watch UK regularly appears in the national media, as does our chairman Alp Mehmet. See below for Alp’s latest media comment:

Telegraph: Migrants in taxpayer-funded hotels not having quarantine enforced

What has been the point of quarantining all and sundry, including returning British holidaymakers and legitimate visitors, if people who have forced their way into the UK go unchecked and are left to roam about at will. The least the Government can do is make sure its own rules are enforced properly and fairly.’

Below is our take on a number of stories which also appeared in the past few days:

The Times: Surge in migrant Channel crossings forecast for mid-August

‘The warning signs are all there, and yet our government seems utterly helpless on how to combat illegal crossings. The impression being given is that the Bill going through parliament now will do the trick. We have serious doubts that this will prove to be the case.’

Mail Online: Migrant flashes ‘V for Victory’ sign as baby and young children are among nearly 80 latest arrivals in Dover Home Office spends £5,000 a day to put them up in three-star hotel closed to the public

‘Who can blame anyone for showing the sign of victory if they have hit the jackpot by successfully getting into Britain with very little chance of being returned?’

And see Alp’s comment on the RNLI controversy on the Channel: 

Mail Online: RNLI has to rescue migrants because Border Force ‘does not have enough boats to cope’ with record number of crossings – as charity hits back at Nigel Farage’s claim it is a ‘taxi service for illegal immigrants’

 ‘No one will question the RNLI’s role of going to the aid of anyone in distress at sea. This is about human traffickers factoring in the fact that the RNLI will pick up those in flimsy craft on the Channel whether or not they are in trouble. If the Border Force are asking for help from the RNLI to do their job, they should think again. If the Border Force need more resources, it is the government that should provide these, not a charity dependent on volunteers and donations from the public.’

Make your voice heard

Despite all the obfuscation and attempted blocks to fair and honest debate on immigration, and the shameful decline of enforcement, MW will persist in shining a torch on what is going on. We will continue to make the case for much lower levels of immigration. The political class must be continually reminded that the British people are totally against open borders. If you are unhappy with the way the government is handling immigration policy, and you can see that its new post-Brexit immigration policy could actually make things worse in terms of numbers coming here following the removal of vital controls, then do write to your MP to let them know that their failure will come back to bite them at the ballot box.  

9th August 2021

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