This is why we see pictures French gendarmes standing aside whilst a large group of individuals launch a rubber boat

From: Eric Waters, Ingleside Crescent, Lancing

Friday, 10th December 2021, 7:14 am
Dinghies used by migrants to cross the channel are tied up in Dover docks. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

When reading articles in The Observer, covering the lifeboats bringing migrants ashore, readers should bear in mind that the crossing of the English Channel by people is not, as some politicians keep claiming, illegal.

The occupants of these inflatable boats only break the law when they get off the lifeboat and actually climb down from it and onto the town’s beaches without having any legal right to do so.

This is why we see pictures in the media of French gendarmes standing aside whilst yet another large group of individuals launch a massive rubber boat and proceed to head out to sea; they are not committing a crime and that nation’s officials have no right in law to stop them. After all, no-one takes a blind bit of notice of folk aboard a variety of craft, be they inflatables, jet skis, paddle boards or rowing boats off the coast of Hastings; they have every right to do what they are doing, just like the migrants off the coast of Dunkirk or any other French port. It may be that one or more of them has left Hastings with the intention of getting into France without being discovered but that is for the French to sort out and not us.

I have no idea whatsoever what the answer is to the question of how to stop, or slow, the numbers of migrants crossing the English Channel for a new life in this country but blaming officials in France is not it. Without there being a draconian law stopping anyone and everyone, on both sides of the channel, from launching themselves into its waters their hands are tied.

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