Nigel Farage: PM doesn’t have political will to stop boat crossings

Monday, August 10, 2020

Nigel Farage has criticised Boris Johnson and his government for their approach to tackling migrant boat crossings in the English Channel.

It comes as figures showed some 4,000 people reached the UK via the perilous route in 2020, with more than 1,000 of them arriving in July alone.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has officially asked the Royal Navy for help and a former Royal Marine has been appointed “clandestine Channel threat commander”.

Speaking with talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, Mr Farage said the move “sounds good” but called on government to show the “political will to change how we’re doing this”.

Asked whether he believed the government had such political will, the Brexit Party leader said: “No I don’t, I absolutely don’t.

“I think Priti Patel herself may well have the will but I don’t think Boris Johnson and the Cabinet are prepared to do what it takes and to face the criticism that they’ll get.”

Ms Patel vowed last year that the crossings would have become an “infrequent phenomenon” by now.

She has recently sought to level blame at her French counterparts as she revealed the UK and French governments were locked in a row over the interpretation of maritime law.

It was announced on Saturday that the Home Secretary has now tasked former Royal Marine Dan O’Mahoney with delivering her ambition of making the English Channel “unviable” for migrants in small boats.

The move was met will accusations of “sabre-rattling” by a refugee charity.

Bridget Chapman from the Kent Refugee Action Network said the government was “escalating a failing strategy by calling in the military to deal with a humanitarian situation.”

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