Nigel Farage, Leader of the Brexit Party, has demanded that all migrants arriving illegally be put into quarantine, and that the border agency stop ferrying boats to UK ports and instead send them back to France.
Lockdown measures are causing havoc with the UK’s inshore artisan fisheries on one side and a very proactive police force keeping civilians off the beaches on the other. The simple fact is that nobody is really allowed onto the beaches of England right now. Nobody that is apart from illegal migrants who are arriving from camps in France in increasing numbers.
Worse still these migrant boats are delivering people, unchecked and unregistered, from camps that reported their first two cases of Covid-19 on the 2nd April according to the charity Care for Calais These camps cannot practice social distancing and self-isolation so the likelihood is that the virus has spread significantly in the camps.
The problem of migrant travelling the 26 miles across the English channel in boats has been on the rise since the old illegal immigration route via the Channel Tunnel rail link was blocked by increased security.
The migrants report as coming from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Syria, though it is often impossible to tell.
Since the advent of the UK’s lockdown period hundreds of illegal migrants have arrived on the beaches of Kent and Sussex and there is a growing polit9ical storm brewing.
A timeline makes it clear that the problem is escalating.
2 boats with 25 migrants
6 boats with 96 migrants
4 boats 49 migrants
3 boats 57 migrants
3 boats 50 migrants
Part of the problem is that limited reporting of what is happening means that the numbers are incomplete, and the simple fact that many migrants are arriving and melting into the countryside and travelling to meet up with their criminal handlers in the UK without the police or the border force being aware.
Tony Eastaugh, Home Office director for crime and enforcement, said: “Those facilitating these illegal crossings and the criminals behind this trade are breaking the law. If someone facilitates an illegal crossing, we will enforce the law and seek to return those with no right to be in the UK”.
Public Health England commented “They will be interviewed and their cases will be dealt with in line with the immigration rules, transferring to detention where appropriate.
“In line with Public Health England guidance migrants are not specifically tested for coronavirus, but are continuously monitored for symptoms.”
However according to official figures only about 80 illegal migrants have been returned in 2020. Eastaugh continued, "We are working around the clock each day with the NCA and French law enforcement agencies to arrest and dismantle organised crime gangs in France. On a daily basis there are extra police patrols on French beaches, drones, specialist vehicles and detection equipment to stop small boats leaving European shores.”
The border agency has introduced drone patrols of the Channel, the world’s busiest shipping lane, which report to their patrol boats that then shepherd the illegal boats to UK shores,
Nigel Farage, said,
“The UK must do exactly what the Australians did. Stop the boats, turn them back, make it clear that nobody that arrives this way can stay.
“Of course, if you have no option, if they are already on the beach, you quarantine them immediately for the full 14 days, whether they are displaying signs of the virus or not.
“At the weekend two very ill people were landed at Dover and half the port had to be disinfected, causing huge problems for everybody involved in the smooth operating of the port.
“We are importing illegal immigrants, we are importing the disease.
“And the media do not even feel it is a story”
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