Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Illegal Immigration

Trafficking Soon - four star hotels, food and free money

We are now well into May, and it appears that the flood of illegal immigrants across the channel has not abated – if anything, as the weather improves it is likely to increase. The opportunity to control our borders, and to decide who enters the UK and for how long, was a key strand of Brexit, yet nearly seven years after the momentous vote, nothing appears to have been done with regard to this blatant abuse of international law. I applaud Suella Braverman's attempts to send illegals to Rwanda, but for this to work, we must leave (or ignore) the ECHR. She is at least trying to do something, but I fear that she is going about it the wrong way: rather than move the illegals on, it is better to stop them arriving in the first place. How this can be done in the current climate of 'wokeism' is difficult to say; the political left has mounted a highly effective campaign that has nibbled away at British sensibilities for a number of years now – so much so, that people appear to be afraid to even attempt to challenge the status quo. The government should play these people at their own game, and although it might take some time, just as The Left has created a false 'persecuted refugees' scenario, the law-abiding people of this country must create a counter climate: rather than feeling sorry for these so-called 'refugees' and blaming the people smugglers, it is time that blame is placed where it belongs – on those who knowingly break the law.

Let us begin the fightback with a small, but important measure in this effort to tackle the brainwashing from the Left: the Media in general, and the British Bashing Corporation in particular must stop referring to these people as 'asylum seekers' or 'refugees'. They are not. They are illegal immigrants, and the sooner this is accepted the better. As they come into the country illegally, they are by very definition, ILLEGAL immigrants. One wonders why so many of these people arrive without passports: according to a report in the Daily Telegraph "…only 317 out of 16, 510 people making crossing had passports when picked up by Border Force…" (Hymas, 2022). Migration Watch UK notes that 98% of those entering the country illegally have no passport, which "…means it is all the harder to identify those coming, and even more difficult to remove them…The risks to security that the absence of reliable documentation poses are clear." (Migration Watch UK, 2022). This is a fair point…. Also it is crucial to be certain that those coming into our country are not terrorists or have a criminal record. How can we be certain that they are not carrying COVID or any other infectious disease such as TB? It is difficult to believe that, given the level of technology available to the UK border Force, Coastguards, Royal Navy, and RNLI, that between them they cannot check the progress of small boats leaving the French coast. When I, as a British citizen, want to come back home from holiday, I have to present my passport at Passport Control, for the Border Control to check it – a process that may take anything up to 30 minutes, depending on the queues. Illegal immigrants seem to be able to get into this country with far less bureaucratic hindrance than British citizens – surely this cannot be right? If they are bona fide asylum seekers/refugees, escaping with their lives from a war-torn country, then they would surely present their passport to the UK authorities on arrival? That nearly 100% do not, suggests that they have something to hide.

We are continually told that we cannot return them to France. Why not? The French ignore international law when they help these people leave France en route for England – or at very least, turned a blind eye to their preparations for launching boats. Co-operation with the French authorities appears to be a one-way street. I have heard people ask, 'how can the French authorities prevent this mass exodus?' This real question instead should be 'do the French want to prevent this mass migration in the first place?' The answer is 'no', as despite the millions of pounds given to them by the British taxpayer, it to the French advantage that these un-registered illegals leave France and go to Britain as quickly as possible. Why are the French police not arresting the hordes of illegals camped on their shores and processing them? If these people were properly processed, with details of passports, and as much other information as possible, and then photographed, such files could be sent to the UK Border Authorities – we would then know far more about them if and when they turned up illegally on our shores. If these people cannot produce passports with an immigration stamp, then they must have entered the country illegally: illegal entry should be cause enough for the French police to arrest them. There is a debate as to whether so-called refugees must stay in the first democratic country they enter, or whether they can legally cross many countries before they reach the country of their choice. Just as they apparently have this right to choose, surely the British people have the right to decide whether we want them in our country or not? At very least one could conclude that France is such a terrible country, that nobody wants to stay there.

Under such circumstances, we should not be subsidising French so-called 'border controls' any further. If they left France illegally, then they should be returned: in October 2021, it was reported that the UK has agreed to pay France £ 63 million to stop illegal immigration (Styal, 2022): what, one wonders, have the French been doing with this money? They appear not to have put it to the use for which it was intended. It is, in effect, a form of blackmail: if we do not pay them, then they are likely to say that they cannot guarantee that even more illegals would make the crossing – after all, without the UK financial contribution, the French authorities would be unable to pay for the much-needed extra security, would they? Having said this, they appear to be doing precious little at the moment. One suspects that the people-smuggling gangs are largely French (or at least based in France), and making a handsome profit at the expense of the UK taxpayer – as are the French authorities who take our money and appear to do nothing in return.

The French have historically chosen to accept certain international agreements whilst ignoring those that do not suit them, and do not further the cause of France. Despite the much-vaunted 'liberté, égalité and fraternité, it would appear that there is no particular concern to ensure 'equality' of effort or 'fraternal' co-operation when it comes to preventing people from illegally leaving their shores and heading towards Britain. Two years ago it was reported that the French will "…not tolerate any flouting of international law, following reports that British Border Force staff were to receive training on how to turn back migrant boats before they reach the English coast" (Sandford, 2021). The level of sheer hypocrisy is breath-taking: it appears to be easier to enter France illegally and stay there until helped to leave illegally for the UK by the French authorities, than it does for a Briton to take up permanent residence there.

There is sufficient historical precedent to explain the double standards and duplicity in international dealings that have long been the trademark of French government: DeGaulle used the British and Americans to support his bid for power at the end of WW2, then publicly snubbed us. The French Secret Services sank a Greenpeace ship in New Zealand – a supposed ally. Then there are the latest in along line of fishing disputes – based, it must be said, on territorial waters that the French conveniently forget when we are talking about illegal immigrants. They suppled 'Excocet' anti-ship missiles to Argentina during the Falklands War, allowing them to profit at the expense of British and Argentine lives. Since an embargo was placed to the sale of weapons to Russia in 2015, the French have sold €1522 worth of armaments and military material, including: "…bombs, rockets, torpedoes, missiles, explosive charges", weapons directly lethal but also "imaging equipment, aircraft with their components…", in addition to "…thermal imaging cameras for more than 1,000 Russian tanks, as well as navigation systems and infrared detectors for fighter jets and combat helicopters. The Kremlin bought these from Safran and Thales, whose main shareholder is the French state. This equipment can now be found on-board the land vehicles, fighters and helicopters operating on the Ukrainian front" (Brillaud et. al., 2022). The French attitude to international co-operation would appear to be: 'let someone else pay' or do the hard work – they will be ready to exploit the situation at the appropriate moment. Now it appears that the French are prepared to let the UK taxpayer subsidise the inept inactivity and of the French border control authorities. Seen against the background of French fraudulence, their attitude towards illegal immigrants is understandable: these people are a drain on the French economy, and are not wanted – the solution is easy – let them leave for the UK. This will serve the British right for leaving the EU in the first place, and cause an increasing drain on the UK economy, not to mention the growing social divisions, rising crime, and resentment of the UK population.

What can the average British citizen do about this? The sad truth is very little, other than complain to their MP – what politicians do is up to them, but measured against their success thus far, I would venture to suggest that they do very little. The problem, of course, is that many MPs voted 'remain' in the 2016 referendum, and many have been actively sabotaging the process of leaving ever since: starting with the then PM, Mrs May, who took nearly nine months to officially inform Brussels of our decision. Boris tried his best, and won a landslide based on his 'Get Brexit Done' slogan – unfortunately he was overtaken by what Harold Macmillan famously referred to as 'events.' The government can ensure that the 'handouts' for illegals are not as generous as they apparently are, starting with the accommodation they are given. If these people are fed and housed for free, they do not need anything: perhaps they should also be required to attend classes on British culture – and benefits should be dependent on attendance – after all, if, as we are led to believe, they are fleeing certain death, torture, or imprisonment in their own country, then having to 'make do' with two-star accommodation, free meals, a clothing allowance and free education is something they should be glad to endure. I know a lady who was asked to teach maths to a group of immigrants; one in particular paid no attention, and spent most of his time looking out of the window. When this teacher asked him to pay attention, he replied that he 'was not going to be told what to do by a woman'! At very least, these people should be grateful for what they receive.

There is one area in which individuals can make an impact, and this will directly hit the French who are ultimately responsible for this influx of illegals, and it will hit them where it hurts most – in their pockets. Until such time as the French authorities stop this mass invasion of illegals, British citizens should refrain from holidaying in France, or even travelling through the country to another country such as Spain. We should boycott the hundreds of French goods that regularly appear on our supermarket shelves: the Government cannot ban the import of such goods, but there is a difference between banning imports of goods from a particular country, and the UK population simply choosing not to buy products from that same country. If consumers were to stop buying French goods, then the retailers would very soon stop selling them. There are many equally good alternatives produced in other EU and non-EU countries, and our own producers would be glad of the growth in domestic demand. This may take some years to bite, but in the end unless something drastic is done, it might be the only way to make the French live up to their international obligations.


Brillaud, Laure, Ana Curic, Maria Maggiore, Leïla Miñano and Nico Schmidt (2022) "EU member states exported weapons to Russia after the 2014 embargo." Investigate Europe (17 March);

Hymas, Charles (2022) "Almost all Channel migrants arrive without passports after being told to shred ID" The Daily Telegraph (24th February)

Migration Watch UK (2022) "98% of boat migrants have no passport"

Sandford, Alisdair (2021) "Britain's plan to send migrant boats back to France 'inhumane' and 'unworkable', critics say." Euronews (9 September); uk-france-migrants-row-critics-slam-patel-s-inhumane-and-unworkable-pushback-plan Syal, Rajeev (2022) "'More of the same': UK-French deal fails to address causes behind crossings That" The Guardian (14 November); https://www.the crossings 

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