Brexit leader turned border control activist Nigel Farage pricks top Tory’s ego over outlandish migrant boat claims, pointing out that stormy December weather has more to do with migrant boat arrivals than government policy.
UK Home Secretary (Interior Minister) James Cleverly boasted “There were no small boat arrivals over Christmas for the first time since they started in 2018” in a statement on Wednesday, saying UK Border Force and French patrols were stopping boat migrants from trying to break into Britain across the English Channel. Yet the statement came as northern Europe experienced a bout of particularly strong weather, with England even experiencing a rare tornado on Wednesday night.
Tens of thousands of Britons were without electricity Wednesday-Thursday, trains were cancelled on lines across the country, and in Manchester dozens of houses were damaged including whole roofs being blown off by the wind. The obviousness of how bad the weather is and how that would impact cross-Channel boat traffic, including those chancing it on unseaworthy people-smuggler boats, led to a torrent of negative replies to Cleverly’s statement on social media.
You may be called Cleverly but you are clearly a moron.
I am close to Dover now, the wind has been gusting 50mph… That is why there are no migrant crossings.
You charlatans and liars all deserve to lose your seats at the election. https://t.co/3zaUa4Vfdf
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) December 28, 2023
None, perhaps, were as direct as Brexit leader Nigel Farage though who called Cleverly a “moron” and claimed the minister’s statement was a falsehood. Farage wrote: “I am close to Dover now, the wind has been gusting 50mph… That is why there are no migrant crossings. You charlatans and liars all deserve to lose your seats at the election.”
Cleverly’s statement also noted the government line that their policies had brought down boat crossings “by 35%”, which is true insofar as crossings are down that much since the peak of 2022, but are still considerably higher than every other year in modern British history. 2023 boat crossings at near 30,000 are over three times the near 9,000 that came in 2020, for instance.
While irregular boat migration looms large in UK political discourse, especially given its totemic illustration of the failures of the 13-year-old Conservative government to live up to its own promises on mass migration, actually the numbers — a few tens of thousands a year — coming by boat are tiny compared to the much larger problem of legal migration. The Conservatives, despite promising at successive elections to reduce overall net migration to the “tens of thousands” a year, have pushed it to over a million every two years by loosening immigration rules and allowing ever greater numbers to come perfectly legally.
The impact of these changes, implemented without any sort of popular consent — given manifesto promises made clear they were to cut, not grow migration — is that more people are coming to Britain now than at any other time in history. While the Conservatives stand to be punished in the coming 2024 general election, as Farage notes in his caustic remark “You charlatans and liars all deserve to lose your seats at the election”, the pendulum of power is likely only to swing to the other establishment party which if anything is even more pro-open borders.
All ferry services in Dover are currently operating with delays due to strong winds in the Channel
For more on this and other news visit https://t.co/NEDMP2uP6W
— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) December 28, 2023