20:52  |  10 December 11
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IMMIGRATION - Sub-Saharan "boat people"


Sink immigrants' boats - Griffin
The EU should sink boats carrying illegal immigrants to prevent them entering Europe, British National Party leader Nick Griffin has told the BBC.

The MEP for the North-West of England said the EU had to get "very tough" with migrants from sub-Saharan Africa.

Pressed on what should happen to those on board, he said: "Throw them a life raft and they can go back to Libya".

Libya has long been a staging post for migrants from Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa wanting to reach Europe.

Nearly 37,000 immigrants landed on Italian shores last year, an increase of about 75% on the year before.

But with the prospect of a new immigration and asylum policy being voted on this autumn by MEPs, Mr Griffin is advocating measures to destroy boats used by illegal immigrants to reach the EU's southern coastline.

'Combating the flow'

In an interview with this week's edition of BBC Parliament's The Record Europe, he said: "If there's measures to set up some kind of force or to help, say the Italians, set up a force which actually blocks the Mediterranean then we'd support that.

“ Europe has sooner or later to close its borders or its simply going to be swamped by the Third World ”

"But the only measure, sooner or later, which is going to stop immigration and stop large numbers of sub-Saharan Africans dying on the way to get over here is to get very tough with those coming over.

"Frankly, they need to sink several of those boats.

"Anyone coming up with measures like that we'll support but anything which is there as a 'oh, we need to do something about it' but in the end doing something about it means bringing them into Europe' we will oppose."

The interviewer, BBC Correspondent Shirin Wheeler, said: "I don't think the EU is in the business of murdering people at sea."

Mr Griffin replied: "I didn't say anyone should be murdered at sea - I say boats should be sunk, they can throw them a life raft and they can go back to Libya.

"But Europe has sooner or later to close its borders or its simply going to be swamped by the Third World."

In May, the Italian government gave Libya three patrol boats as part of a deal aimed at combating the flow of illegal migrants making the crossing to Italy.

Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, a member of the anti-immigration Lega Nord party, hailed the first 200 migrants picked up by the boats and returned to Libya as an "historic" moment.

But human rights groups have raised concerns about Italy sending migrants back to Libya without first screening them for asylum claims or to discover whether they are sick, injured, unaccompanied children or victims of human trafficking.

Libya has no functioning asylum system and is not a party to the 1951 UN convention relating to the status of refugees.
Vote: Should the EU sink boats carrying illegal immigrants to prevent them entering Europe?

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Members Comments

Andromeda 10-Jul-2009 17:51
Mally, who do people who have no answers reject the recommendations of others? Maybe there is no nice solution to all this, in the same way that you might have to use electric fences to deter some very determined intruders. I don't think it's that complicated. It is really commonsense, but years of PC liberalism has extinguished the ability of most of us to use our commonsense. It is so bad now that the BNP call themselves "the party of commonsense". If they are the party of commonsense, then what are the Lib-Lab-Con?

The parties of rare folly?
Mally 10-Jul-2009 1:0
I don't think things are as simple as Nick Griffin believes. We can only continue to do what can to solve this problem. You may think form my comments that I haven't got a clue, but I don't think anyone has a clue. This is big and complex problem.
AndrewSlade 9-Jul-2009 18:19
Why do we have to patronise these virile young African invaders as if they were poor little vulnerable piccaninnies?

Judging by the success of the Somali "pirates" against all the navies of the world (including even the Chinese) a fight in the Sicilian Channel would see Africa's seaborne warriors rapidly prevail.
jockox3 9-Jul-2009 14:48
I cannot see circumstances in which such a response would ever be acceptable. Notwithstanding Griffin's rejoinder to the interviewer yesterday that he was not advocating murder, nonetheless a transfer at sea from a fatally damaged vessel onto some kind of life raft is a dangerous undertaking which can be forseen to result in casualties even if they are not planned. None of our so called civilized states should be deliberately taking that risk with others' lives. However he likes to dress it up, Griffin is at the very least suggesting a policy of corporate manslaughter on the part of governments or the EU. That is quite disgusting.
JusticeSeeker 9-Jul-2009 9:39
We have conveniently short memories. Europe pillaged africa. in the last 19th century, and first half of 20th century
E.U. negotiates unfair trade deals.

Western governments promise aid, but don't actually send it. The functioning african countries want a fair deal in trade. The non-functioning ones cannot control gangs exploiting their mineral wealth, which is presumably bought by the west.

Individual nations putting up barriers made the 1930's depression much longer. The African countries already suffer proportionately more than us, because of the financial chaos caused by the wests greedy and corrupt bankers. Pity we don't seem to have statesmen who can negotiate world wide solutions.
Andromeda 9-Jul-2009 1:46
The recent xenophobic violence in South Africa against Zimbabwean refugees suggests that it is not a good idea to presume on the generosity of the poor, who are after all the ones really expected to live cheek by jowl with and expected to accommodate the newcomers.

Those of us who live in leafy suburbs would not like the racial composition of our neighbourhoods changed, so why should we expect the white urban proletariat, who have less than we do, to be more generous and hospitable than we are?


mentions a book written by an illegal migrant to discourage others from doing as he did. "Fortress Europe" is not what it is cracked out to be, he says. You are better off in Africa, he tells other would-be boat people.

Apparently, those who arrive but hate it here pretend to others back home that they are doing well, encourage them to come and then withdraw their hospitality when they arrive.

It was this that shocked me most: the treachery of their betrayal of their own countrymen, just so that they did not have to admit that they had made a mistake.

Sinking their boat sounds harsh, but what other way is there to discourage these people, if they do not listen?

It is even for their benefit so they don't waste their time, energy and money trying to get here and risk their lives doing so.

If they think Europe is the land of milk and honey, their information is very much out of date.
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