An intelligence report leaked this week revealed a large number of migrants arriving into the UK by boat via the Channell is travelling from war-free Albania. According to the report, a total of 1,075 Albanians arrived in the UK by crossing the Channel in a six-week period this summer. Richard Tice raged at the findings, hitting out at the Government’s failure to implement a strong immigration policy and questioning the need for migrants from Albania to resort to illegal means to enter the UK.
Speaking to GB News, Mr Tice said: “This was a really, really shocking report and actually, this news has gone all over the world because it completely disproves everything we’ve been led to believe by the Government, by well-intentioned do-gooders.
“They’ve all been saying, ‘they’re coming from war zones, from persecution.’ And now we’ve got the proof the Government has always had but never told us.
“The shocking thing is they know within days where everybody is coming from. And yet we haven’t been told.
“Albania is a developing country but it’s a member of NATO, has applied to join the EU, its economy is fast growing, its debt, and inflation figures make ours look even more woeful than they a ready are and you think, ‘hang on, people are going from the UK to Albania on holiday.'”
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He continued: “And here’s the thing, and it’s the really big question to ask – if you’re an Albanian, you can get a cheap, 180-day visa to the UK and fly lawfully to the UK with that visa for a few hundred euros.
“You can work under the seasonal agricultural worker scheme for months, months, and months. Help the British economy.
“So if you can come here legally, and work and visit, why would you pay a lot more money to come here illegally with the huge dangers of coming across by boat?
“You think, ‘What’s going on?'”
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The report, leaked to the Mail on Sunday, was based on a surveillance operation conducted by the Royal Navy into nine criminal gangs believed to be behind the majority of Channel crossings.
The data shows the gangs have been buying huge inflatable boats online and transporting them to Northern France, where they are customised to fit a larger number of migrants.
Albanians emerged as the most prominent nationality among the individuals seeking to access the UK by boats, followed by Iranians at 13 percent, Afghanis at 12.7 percent, and Iraqis at 7.6 percent.
Home Secretary Priti Patel, in her attempt to tackle illegal immigration, reiterated earlier this year her conviction that a large number of arrivals are made up of “effectively economic migrants” rather than “genuine asylum seekers.
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The leaked report comes as Ministry of Defence figures suggest the total number of people who have crossed the English Channel so far this year has passed 18,000.
On Saturday 337 people crossed the Channel in 10 small boats, bringing the total number of people brought to the UK this year to 18,108.
The milestone was broken just five days after 696 people were rescued by Border Force and brought to shore on Monday, the busiest day for Channel crossings so far this year.
The vast majority were brought to shore in Dover, however many, including those brought to shore on August 1, were taken to the Port of Ramsgate due to concerns about congestion around the Dover port caused by freight and holidaymaker traffic.