Smuggling has always been a recreational and criminal pastime along the south coast, it’s why the Revenue and its cutters were originally created hundreds of years ago, to stop smuggling from France.
booze, fags, drugs, and now people. As a recreational pastime, ‘booze runs‘ have always been a popular thing with fast boat owners, regarded as not really criminal, same now with bringing in people.
anyone who lives in a small south coat seaside village will know all too well, the sight of fast boats heading off out into the Channel by twilights last gleaming, to return home before dawns early light.
And it’s a low risk, high reward trade. The ‘border’ at my little harbour is a small sign telling arriving boats to ring the number on it and declare themselves. Naturally, a returning cabin cruiser skipper will ring up and declare - ‘12 pax who paid me £25k in cash’.
And that’s why I laugh at the people all afroth at the very small number coming over in rubber boats, they are a trifle, they really are. They act as a very convenient distraction to occupy the outraged, the big numbers come over in real boats, and disembark at a myriad small unattended harbours along the Suffok to Hampshire coast every night. Remember, the ones in rubber boats are the desperate, the ones with money and planning book a safe seat direct on a proper boat.
Now a cynical chap might opine that’s a reason HMG doesn’t interdict the proper boat trade, it would just force thousands back into the hands of the crime gangs and their unseaworthy rubber boats, and we’d be fishing out bodies with all the attendant bad publicity.
And of course, all that money being directed into the hands of UK residents, not foreign crime gangs is good for the economy
Al Stewart said it so well, except it’s people now - it was ever thus.
The fishing boats go out across the evening water
Smuggling guns and arms across the Spanish border
It doesn't, I'm afraid. They are arrested for illegal entry upon setting foot in the uk. Their asylum status doesn't alter that fact. You can be both an asylum seeker and an illegal immigrant at the same time.When someone arrives on the beach at Dover they're an illegal immigrant. As soon as they declare they're seeking asylum their legal status changes to asylum seeker.