Back in November, Mr Farage said he would give “serious thought” about a political comeback and has been approached by several financial donors, and he has since expressed intention to become a more dominant force within the Reform UK party – which he founded in 2018. PoliticsHome claimed Mr Farage is unlikely to stand in the next general election but predict he will become an even louder voice within politics over the next year.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph on January 7, Mr Farage claimed that “a revolt on the right is brewing” against “a metropolitan Tory chumocracy totally detached from the rest of the country”. He added: “I intend to increase the help that I’m giving to Richard Tice [his successor as Reform UK’s leader]. Brexit has not been completed properly. The net-zero strategy is placing our nation at a significant disadvantage. And the Channel crossings are humiliating Britain.”
The same evening, on BBC Radio 4’s “Any Questions?”, Mr Farage declared: “Boris Johnson was the right leader for 2019 to get us over that hurdle [leaving the EU]. It now needs someone else to take it [Brexit] on so we can take full advantage.”
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Political commentators have acknowledged the legitimate threat Mr Farage poses to the Tory party.
Former Foreign Editor of the Times, Martin Fletcher, said: “Farage is the one populist who can outdo Johnson. He is shameless, a gifted communicator and possesses the common touch in spades. He is brilliant at exploiting discontent, and discontent with Johnson is now rife.
He added: “The Conservatives have good reason to fear his return to the political fray.
“His Reform UK party presently enjoys roughly four per cent support in the opinion polls under Richard Tice’s underwhelming leadership.
“If he can boost that support by just a few more points Reform UK could split the right-wing vote enough to jeopardise a substantial number of Tory seats at the next election.”
Mr Fletcher described Mr Farage as the person “who built the UK Independence Party into such a force that David Cameron was forced to call the Brexit referendum in 2016”, adding that he “did as much as Johnson to deliver the blue-collar vote by focusing relentlessly on immigration”.
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Pre-Brexit, in 2018, only 299 migrants crossed the Channel – since then that figure has risen by more than 8,700 percent, to over 28,300 in 2021, according to data compiled by the Press Association.
When Britain left the EU, it was no longer able to use the bloc’s system for returning migrants to the first member state they entered.
A government minister revealed that just five people had been returned to Europe after making it to Britain in 2021, compared to 294 people who had crossed in small boats being returned in 2020 – when the Brexit transition period was still in place.
Many of those crossing fled from war-torn countries, famine, poverty, and danger.
Nearly all of the migrants (98 percent between January and September 2020) claim asylum.
Figures show, however, that the UK continues to see fewer boat arrivals and asylum claims than many other nations on the continent.
Data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees shows that at least 106,000 people arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean in 2021.
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Former Ukip and Brexit party leader went so far as to say the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) had become “a taxi service for illegal immigration” last year.
The RNLI responded with a statement clarifying that its mission is to “save lives at sea . . . without judgment of how they came to be in the water.”
The charity added, “we want to be absolutely clear that we are incredibly proud of the humanitarian work our volunteer lifeboat crews do to rescue vulnerable people in distress.”
Mr Farage’s new career in journalism, starring on GB News, has been equally as focussed on immigration across the Channel.
Discussing record numbers of migrants travelling across the Channel, Mr Farage said “the humiliation of our country knows no bounds”.
He added: “Why do illegal immigrants want to cross the channel from France to the United Kingdom? I’ll tell you why, the French don’t give them accommodation in four-star hotels, or nice private houses. The French don’t give them free dental care, free healthcare, free mobile phones, three square meals a day… oh and I almost forgot, £38 per week spending money.”
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