Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Brexit Party, has described his country’s Border Force and Home Secretary Priti Patel as “not fit for purpose” following the drowning deaths of at least 27 migrants near France’s coast to reach the UK. He joined other conservatives who argue that the only solution to Britain’s migrant problems is to remove the incentives in place, including an underground economy and little chance of being deported.
The most recent drowning event is the deadliest in the English Channel since the International Organization for Migration started maintaining records in 2014. The British and French governments have meanwhile been attempting to shift blame for the deaths on each other.
Farage has a long track record of hammering the UK’s government for mishandling the problem of illegal immigration. In light of illicit crossings this year, more than 25,000, and the recent deaths, he made his “not fit for purpose” criticism of the government’s border security officials.
He traveled to the Channel before the drownings to tape a segment for GB News related to the boating crisis. At the time, he warned of the imminent danger of loss of life.
After the drownings, Farage said that he “wasn’t shocked at all and was surprised that it didn’t happen sooner.”
After the accident, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called an emergency meeting of his cabinet. Later, he told the media that he blamed France for the incident because they did not stop the dangerous and unlawful crossings. A statement from the French government told Johnson not to use a “tragic situation for political purposes.”
Some commenters in Britain have expressed concern that French President Emmanuel Macron is using the migrant crisis as a political lever to support his upcoming re-election campaign and to cast a poor light on Britain for leaving the EU.