MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: Border controls are a necessary part of any civilized state
Tory MPs from the former Red Wall seats seized from Labor in 2019 have risen up against the government’s obsession with the COP26 conference on global warming.
They want ministers to turn their minds to the alarming rise in illegal migration across the Channel.
They have a point. Many Britons see this as one of the most pressing issues facing the country and would like to know what Boris Johnson is going to do about it, especially as the French authorities seem unable to act decisively or effectively.
Criminal traffickers, growing more confident by the day, are now smuggling so many men and women across the Straits of Dover that the known daily total recently reached 1185.
Tory MPs want ministers to turn their minds to the alarming rise in illegal migration across the Channel. (Pictured) Four lifeboats and several Border Force vessels are involved in multiple rescue operations in the English Channel.
Even the deteriorating weather hasn’t reduced the flow, though an unknown number are drowning, a disgraceful side effect of this cynical industry. Why is it that France, a modern state with enormous technical resources, efficient armed forces and large police forces, has so little control over its own coastline and territorial waters that it cannot prevent such tragedies? Others are believed to make landfall without being observed or recorded by UK border authorities.
Even taking into account days when the sea is too rough to cross, this means that every year around 300,000 illegal immigrants will soon be able to reach this country via this route, a figure roughly the same as the population of Newcastle upon Tyne, Brighton or the London suburb of Hillingdon.
The Mail on Sunday does not blame the migrants for trying to reach our country. We understand that our prosperous, peaceful and secure civilization is a beacon for people in less fortunate countries.
We are also not against immigration as such. Every country needs and benefits from a number of migrants. And we believe it is the duty of civilized nations to shelter genuine refugees.
In 1972, the half-crazed Ugandan despot Idi Amin expelled large numbers of Asians from the country in a blatant act of racial persecution. To the great advantage of this country, thousands of them settled in Britain – where they have contributed immensely to the nation of which they have made their home.
At the time, this was seen as a major political and social crisis and a significant strain on our resources.
But the total of those who came was just over 27,000 – a figure that can now be matched in one month by illegal migrants across the Channel.
And in the case of the Ugandan Asians, they didn’t just prefer Britain over France as their final destination. They had real British passports, entered here legally and were without doubt the victims of brutal persecution.
Criminal traffickers, growing more confident by the day, are now smuggling so many men and women across the Straits of Dover that the known daily total recently reached 1185. A group of thirteen migrants photographed off the coast of Lydd, Kent on Saturday morning (Pictured)
So it is reasonable, and indeed desirable, that Tory MPs should be concerned about this current issue and expect a reasoned and practical response from Downing Street.
Tom Tugendhat describes in this newspaper the worrying developments in which migrants are being used as weapons against the West, on the border between Belarus and Poland. This ugly confrontation only makes the problem more urgent.
Uncontrolled migration is unfair to those who follow the rules, rewards criminal gangs, creates tension and bitterness and makes integration much more difficult.
The comments from the outgoing Border Force chief, which we report on today, indicate a high-level reluctance to understand that proper border control is a necessary part of any civilized state.
It is time for Prime Minister and Home Secretary Priti Patel to decide together to end this unbearable scandal and human tragedy.