The RNLI has no business in facilitating the illegal trade of people trafficking and should return undocumented migrants caught crossing the Channel back to France, businessman Arron Banks said today.
The Leave.EU co-founder was commenting on the ongoing migrant crisis and the role being played by RNLI, which Nigel Farage has branded a “taxi service for illegal immigration”.
Taking to Twitter, Mr Banks acknowledged the role of the charity was to rescue those in danger at sea, and to do so indiscriminately, but asked why they couldn’t then deliver the illegal immigrants safely back to France.
“It’s common sense that if RNLI and others facilitate safe passage across the channel, more will come in increasing numbers. Why not rescue and return to France? The only policy that would work is the Australian policy of zero tolerance,” insisted the Brexiteer businessman.
The RNLI released a statement on Wednesday in response to recent criticism in which it said it was “proud of the lifesaving work our volunteers do in the Channel – we make no apology for it”, however Mr Banks questioned to what extent “encouraging an ever-increasing flow of migrants to make the trip is saving lives”.
“Why don’t we cut out the criminals and just run a taxi service direct from the French port? I’m sure RNLI would oblige,” he quipped.
By facilitating safe passage at all costs, “this will encourage more attempts and more deaths”, he added, insisting that the only way to address the ongoing crisis was to turn the boats around, the “Australian policy that worked”.
“Abbott showed true steel when his own country faced a similar situation in 2012 by returning illegal vessels to Indonesia” said Farage. “If Johnson has any sense, he will call Abbott into Number 10 Downing Street immediately and give him an active role in dealing with this crisis.“