Mark Dolan: If Boris Johnson doesn't get to grips with the Channel crossings, there won't be a second term

Mark Dolan: If Boris Johnson doesn't get to grips with the Channel crossings, there won't be a second term
Mark Dolan

By Mark Dolan

Published: 26/11/2021

- 21:35

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:13

When it comes to the economic, humanitarian, and national security emergency, playing out in the channel, it's now or never Boris

Now I’m not surprised, when anyone wants to FLEE France – who could blame them. But illegal migrant crossings in the channel, are more than just a crisis. That's not a big enough word. They are an economic, humanitarian and national security, emergency.

It's an economic emergency, given the spectacular cost of accommodating people who are here illegally. Hotels, spending money and of course, the long-term cost of housing, medical treatment, education and other public services.

Not easy, particularly, if there are language and cultural issues, which in many cases, there will be. The bill for accommodating people, who cross the channel illegally, is not just a financial one, but a societal one, too.

That costly, complex and long-term challenge of integration, is only justified, for those who genuinely seek asylum, from a tyrannical regime.

Not, from the uncaring French. For those who genuinely require shelter, safety and a better life, it's essential, that Britain is a welcoming country - as we always have been - to those who in many cases, literally fear for their lives.

History shows the contribution of those who come to our shores, can be colossal. But for POLITICAL reasons, the French seem to be deliberately, ENCOURAGING the current situation, with no serious effort to stop boats, leaving their shores, in spite of the 54 million big ones, that we've paid them, to do, JUST THAT.

In my view, President Macron, has weaponised the situation, in order to be seen to make the British suffer, and of course, to punish us for Brexit.

Now this guy, clearly doesn't lose any sleep, over Britain suffering societal, security and economic pain, but he also doesn't seem to have any human empathy, whatsoever.

Because the situation, in the Channel, is also a humanitarian emergency, with 27 souls, having lost their lives this week. 27 human beings. I fear more lives will be lost, if things don't change, and fast.

If Macron, really cared about this tragic situation, the last thing he would do, is allow the cancellation, of a meeting, between our Home Secretary Priti Patel and her opposite number in Paris.

With their failure to act and properly engage in this situation, the French could potentially have blood on their hands. It reminds me of the time when Macron proudly announced that the Astrazeneca vaccine didn't work that well.

Again, just another example of Britain-bashing, at the expense of lives. Days after those comments, thousands, of Oxford ,Astra-Zeneca vaccines gathered dust in French laboratories.

Take up of Astra Zeneca never fully recovered in France, or elsewhere on the continent. In terms of illegal crossings, the numbers are eye watering. At least 26,000 people have already crossed the channel illegally this year already – it was a fraction of that just two years ago.

Over a thousand people, crossed the channel, on just one day - earlier this month on the 11th of November. And the situation, is a humanitarian emergency too, because people are not only dying, but they are being exploited by wealthy gangsters, taking thousands of pounds, to send them, on this treacherous route.

Many want to see a new infrastructure in the channel, which guarantees SAFE passage, for all incoming boats. I can see their point, but that would be Christmas coming early, for these evil criminals, who would RECRUIT thousands more, to take this perilous journey.

What's happening in the channel, would go from being a business – as it currently is - to an industry. The moral case for ending this business model, couldn't be stronger. 27 lost souls, should be intolerable, to all involved, and the ultimate argument to make this stop.

But added to that, what about the thousands of people who have a valid, legal claim TO seek asylum in this country. What about their human rights? At the moment, they go to the back of the queue. By following the rules.

We should beef up, and speed up our protocols, to welcome and accommodate people who seek asylum legally, but we must end, what is essentially human trafficking, for all the rest.

So this is an economic emergency, a humanitarian emergency, but it's a national security emergency, too. Some of the people crossing the channel, may have valid claim to seek refuge in this country.

But why do some dump their documentation, bankcards and mobile phones into the water, as they travel here? Why do some cover their faces or even run for the hills on arrival? If they have a valid claim – you have to ask why they would chuck their documents. But either way, this is not how a modern, democratic country, like the United Kingdom, does things.

If you enter Britain, we need to know your circumstances, who you are and what your background is. And your right to stay, must be assessed in accordance with the rules. Good luck trying to enter China, North Korea or Russia illegally. Or Australia for that matter, who ended the problem overnight by crushing the gangster business model.

If you go to Australia illegally, you will not receive asylum. End of. And the national security emergency, is a huge one. As Dan Wootton, my colleague, pointed out in his brilliant mail column this week. It was the current chaotic system, that allowed the Liverpool bomber Emad Al Sweal-meen to illegally remain in the country for seven years, working on the side, to fund a bomb factory, before he blew himself up, outside Liverpool Women's Hospital, on Remembrance Sunday.

Now hopefully this monster is in the minority, but without proper systems, we cannot be sure. Which takes us to Boris. Any Prime Minister's main role, is to keep order at home, and protect our borders, from foreign threat. At the moment the Prime Minister and Priti Patel are failing to do that. Not helped by French president Emmanuel Macron, who frankly in my view wishes ill upon this country.

His government, didn't like the fact that the Prime Minister put the government's proposed migrant action plan with France, on Twitter. So he threw his toys out of the pram. Mr Macron grow up and grow a pair, use your brain and have a heart.

I'll be honest, there's guilt on both sides. Political weakness, and ineptitude in Westminster and downright obstruction in Paris. It's a perfect storm. Emmanuel macron will continue to leverage this crisis, for his own political ends, because it makes him look like, the tough guy. So the ball is firmly in Boris Johnson's court, to get this sorted.

He's going to have to act tough, and demonstrate in this situation, that he is more Winston Churchill, than Neville Chamberlain. He got Brexit done, and I have saluted him, for freedom day, on the 19th of July – cases, hospitalisations and deaths have fallen, and we are the envy of Europe.

But this is his biggest crisis since Covid. If he doesn't get to grips with it, there won't be a second term in power. When it comes to the economic, humanitarian, and national security emergency, playing out in the channel, it's now or never, Boris.

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