‘We would NOT be in this situation!’ Margaret Thatcher would have ‘emphatically’ stopped migrant crisis, claims ex-aide

Margaret Thatcher and Nile Gardiner

Nile Gardiner has outlined how he feels his former boss would have dealt with the crisis

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 01/09/2023

- 22:08

The average number of migrants crossing the Channel per boat hit a new monthly high

Former aide to Margaret Thatcher, Nile Gardiner, is confident that the former Prime Minister would have done what was “necessary” to stop Channel migrant crossings.

It comes as the average number of migrants crossing the Channel per boat hit a new monthly high.

Some 5,369 people made the journey in August in 102 boats - an average of around 53 migrants per vessel.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has so far been frustrated in attempts to stem the flow of migrants making the perilous journey, with the European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) along with the Supreme Court continuing to thwart the Government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

According to Gardiner, Thatcher would have sought to depart from the ECHR in a bid to force through certain deterrents.

“Lady Thatcher would have dealt highly effectively with this small boats crisis”, he told GB News.


“She would not have allowed the high number of migrants to cross the Channel.

“She would have stopped these boats and used the full might of the Royal Navy.

“I’m sure that Lady Thatcher would have taken Britain out of the ECHR. It is absolutely outrageous in terms of limiting Britain.

“She would have stopped this migrant crisis completely in its tracks and we would not be in this situation where we are today where we have too much weakness and a lack of will to deal with the situation.

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher would have 'emphatically' dealt with the crisis, says Nile Gardiner


“A world power like Britain should be able to stop this small boats invasion that we are facing.

“Margaret Thatcher would have dealt emphatically with this situation.”

Questioned on whether Thatcher would have been willing to break international law in a desperate bid to curb crossings, Gardiner insisted that Thatcher was growing increasingly weary of “supranational” forces, and would not have taken a huge amount of notice of outside noise as a result.

“In her last bit of state craft, she outlined her vision that saw Britain outside the European Union”, he said.

“I have no doubt that today, Thatcher would be taking Britain out of the ECHR.

“Britain should not be part of a court that prevents the UK from deporting illegal migrants.”

Rishi Sunak has continued to defend his pledge to “stop the boats”, insisting the Government’s efforts are “working”.

He previously played down suggestions that the lower number of crossings compared with last year was linked to poor weather conditions rather than policy decisions.

But this summer has seen more unsettled weather compared with last year when there was a spike in crossings in August.

While June 2023 was the warmest on record, July and August have been much more unsettled, with a sequence of low pressure bringing wind and rain.

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