Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is understood to have deployed HMS Mersey to the English Channel within hours of receiving a request from the Home Secretary to help with what he calls a ‘migrant crisis’.

HMS Mersey, an offshore patrol vessel, is ready to begin work as soon as today with other assets, including aerial surveillance, set to follow, The Times has reported this morning.

Originally, the plan was to replace the Batch 1 River class (of which HMS Mersey is part) Offshore Patrol Vessels with the newer Batch 2 vessels. However, it was recently announced that all vessels will be retained.

Last year we reported that Rear Admiral Chris Gardner, assistant chief of naval staff, said that the Royal Navy is “keen” to keep the ships. Speaking to The News Portsmouth last year, Rear Adm Gardner said:

“At the moment no decision has been taken about what their future could be. I’m keeping the ships in a state of operational readiness which means that as the future becomes a bit clearer post-Brexit, and as our requirements are more broadly understood, we will be able to make decisions about whether or not we will seek to retain and operate them as additional units in the Royal Navy or find some other solution.”

Last year, then Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Defence, Guto Bebb revealed that £12.7M had been allocated from the EU Exit Preparedness Fund to preserve the three Batch 1 River class ships, should they be needed to control and enforce UK waters and fisheries following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.

Peter Dowd Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury asked:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Written Statement of 13 March 2018, Spring Statement, HCWS 540, if he will publish a list of where the £12.7 million allocated to his Department to realise the opportunities from EU exit will be spent.”

Guto Bebb, then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, responded:

“The Ministry of Defence has now been allocated £12.7 million in 2018-19 for essential EU exit preparations. This will fund preserving three Off-Shore Patrol Vessels, should they be needed to control and enforce UK waters and fisheries. It also includes some EU Exit preparedness funding for UK defence bases in Europe. As with all HMT Reserve funding, finalised allocations will be confirmed at Supplementary Estimates 2018-19 in early 2019.”

Earlier in the year, Bebb revealed the running cost of the Batch 1 vessels in response to a written question:

“The cost of operating a River Class Offshore Patrol Batch 2 Vessel will be determined by the specific operational programmes of the ships when they enter service. We have used the cost of the current in service Batch 1 Offshore Patrol Vessels as the basis of our planning which is £6.5 million per year.”

There is a dispute however over who should pay the costs for the recently announced deployment to the Channel.


  1. Perhaps we can get a larger fleet and actually maintain our waters while expanding to the five eye nations and beyond.

    Britannia might not have the numbers but in quality she does rule the waves.

  2. Perhaps we can get a larger fleet and actually maintain our waters while expanding to the five eye nations and beyond.

    Britannia might not have the numbers but in quality she does rule the waves.

    • It’s french waters we need to patroll, then we can put the boats load of criminals back to France where they came from…. if we patrol uk waters we will have to land them in the UK…..

  3. The needed approach is very clear …

    Intercept all boats before they hit UK waters and return them to the nearest safe port (France).

    I would also send back every single person who enters the country illegally. They are leaving a perfectly safe and civilised country ( France again) so I really can’t see how they can legally claim asylum here in the UK.

    Weak govenment again, noone has the balls to make the call….

    • Spot on.

      Makes them look like they are acting when the issue has been there for years.

      I understand that anyone claiming asylum should do it at the first safe country reached? Happy to be corrected.

      Europe is a civilised, safe continent.

      So economic migrants and asylum seekers cross Europe to get to the UK, cross illegally on small boats, or storm lorries, then claim asylum as soon as they reach here.

      I wonder why?

      Is the UK seen as the promised land of free handouts by its welfare system? We all know the answer.

      HMG is soft, do not want to be seen as “racist” because of the usual PC rubbish, and they get to remain.

      This problem will only get worse. Not just illegal immigration but the wider economic one, as most are economic migrants.

      And the wider immigration issue contributes to my wife being told in a queue yesterday at the doctors she cannot have a simple doctors appointment for 2 weeks.

      The left scream race, or blame cuts. Race? Dint make me laugh, its nothing to do with that. Cuts to public services, while of course not helping, do not hide the fact that there are too many people, especially in the south east.

      And we are accepting 300,000 plus a year increase to the population, with an ageing indigenous population too.

      Until the establishment wake up to this and stop turning a blind eye, deliberately, this will get worse.

      And my wife will be waiting a month to see the doctor.

      • Well, it is already a month+ if I want to see my GP. First you have to get to the surgery. The roads are clogged with the 10 million+ Blair/Brown/Cameron/May let into the UK. If you want immigration, you should first provide the extra infrastructure such as housing/roads/schooling/water/electric/health. Instead they were all cut back, while the migrants flowed in.
        I don’t understand why we do not use the bloated aid budget to build a nice camp in a third world country to take these illegal migrants. It need not be a grim tent city. It could be blocks of Premier Inn/Travellodge type buildings. If people knew that getting in a dinghy would not get them into Britain, but sent to a camp abroad, you take away the pull factor.

        • Amen to all of that guys. We cannot just keep letting in more forever, we have to draw the line somewhere. We are already 20%+ non White British, we have already let more than enough in. Do you see China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Turkey, etc., etc. making 20% of their countries non indigenous then STILL keep letting more in? We cannot go along with this anymore either.

          • Stephen.

            I know you get shot down in flames with the “non white British” comment you keep coming out with. I know and appreciate where you are coming from, but you cannot say that.

            Immigration problems lie with numbers, and with attitudes of migrants, and integration with Britain’s culture. Not skin colour. A black person can be as loyal to this country as a white one, it’s not skin colour that counts. It’s attitudes.

            Why should a non white person born here be any less loyal to their country if their heart is with it?

            Your comment just gives ammunition to those who just think it’s about race when it really isn’t. It’s about attitudes. Very different things.

            As for the article. Yes deploying the River is a positive step but it should be routine, the channel is the shortest and most vulnerable point.

            Again the government acts after the horse has bolted.

      • As much as I sympathise about how hard it is to get a GP appointment, as GP myself (with one of the largest practices in the South West of England) I would say that ‘immigration’ is the least of our worries and only a minor factor in the lack of appointments:

        1) Immigrants make up a greater proportion of our staff and colleagues than they do of our patients. We’re understaffed and there are not enough trained healthcare professionals to employ, even if we had funding that kept pace with workload (which is doesn’t).

        2) The problem is demographics – the generation born after the war are healthy but have complex age related chronic diseases that require LOTS of management and appointments. THAT is where our time is being spent. We’ve known it was coming for decades…..GP surgeries get 8% of the NHS budget and see 1.3m appointments per DAY! A&E sees 23m per YEAR.

        3) None of the tax or NI contributions paid have been ‘saved’. They were essentially handed back to people as electoral bribes (aka Tax Cuts) in the 80s and 90s by conservative governments. The workload for GPs (i.e. number of appointments per registered patients) has DOUBLED over the past 10-15 years, but the funding per patient hasn’t even increased with inflation. GP practices get around £100 per patient per year, and each patient now attend SIX times on average. That pays for heat, light, staff, £10k per doctor in ambulance chaser insurance so the GP is allowed to work in the first place and paying for whatever clip-boarded half-wit wants to come and ‘inspect’ us whenever they chose to do so. What could your plumber do for you SIX times per year for £100 in total? It costs about the same to insure a pet rabbit!

        3) GPs are leaving in droves, mid-career GPs to Aus/NZ and later career GPs are retiring early to escape the soul crushing 12 hour days, the regulatory witch-hunts and constant malicious lies about GPs in the press and from a lying politicians intent on handing over the system to their private-equity pals. The EU won’t be able to stop them transferring this to the private sectors pretty soon. Lovely contracts all round for the boys eh?

        I qualified 16 years ago. I’ve worked an average of 55-60 hours per week in the NHS and public sector since then, and spent no where near enough time with my now teenage children. I’ve done my bit. I’ll give it a few more years and if it doesn’t change, then I’m off too.

        The standard of political debate, as exemplified by the referendum campaign (on BOTH sides), is enough to make you cry. If the answer appears TOO simple, then trust me it is too simple. Systems are complex, and the last people that should be running things like the NHS are politicians.

      • It’s far more complicated than this simplistic analysis. House building dropped dramatically after 2007, lack of credit for house builders put paid to that. As you say immigration has continued at the same levels, so it’s the combination of the two is the real problem. The facts is both Tories (restricting social house building since the 80’s) and Labour (less restrictive immigration) are to blame.

        Even this doesn’t touch the surface of the issues at hand. There is a huge focus on industry and jobs in the SE, so guess where people want to live? With poor transport and a lack of industrial strategy (and the above points), what is being felt is mis-management by government after government. Cuts to public services do impact all of this, to deny this flies in the face of most facts e.g. GP salaries in real terms are declining. Together with more complex patient problems, changing working patterns (more locums) and many GPs retiring, are more complex, the problem is more than one of numbers of people resident, in this small issue. It most certainly isn’t migrants.

        Incidentally the biggest migration to the UK over the past 40 odd years comes from non-EU countries, consistently year after year.

    • Never going to happen. The Western culture is being slowly eroded by 3rd world migration. It’s happening in Europe and is happening in America. Impossible to stop it when the liberals in all the Western government countries want it to continue since 9 out of 10 of the migrants when eventually allowed to vote will vote for a liberal candidates that are for the continued 3rd world migration to the West. Just look at what happened in California. It was always a conservative voting state until the numbers of Mexican and Central American numbers started to really climb. Now they make up like 33% of the state and climbing. And those 33% or more will always want the continuation of the migration from central and South America to the US. It’s way to late to stop it. Trump has tried but the media vilifies him and says he’s racists, ect and the people that voted for him are angry white people. LOL

      • Danielle ( I can’t reply directly to your comment), of course I can say it, it’s went too far. Like I say a few and no one would have been bothered, but we have to draw the line somewhere, we cannot just keep letting more in forever. Do you think China, Korea, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Turkey, etc., etc. are saying we are all exactly the same, even sub Saharan Africans are exactly the same as us why shouldn’t we just make ourselves outnumbered in our own country? We cannot be this weak anymore either or we will literally end up outnumbered in our own country, and you know who else (outside Europe) will do the same thing? No one. That is insane.

        We are already around 20%+ non White British (this also include White non British by the way, so it’s not even “racist”), we have let in enough, we cannot keep letting more in forever.

      • dan, it’s not too late to stop it, the public’s attitude towards immigration is changing across Europe and will continue to change, and it needs to continue to change if the truth be told.

  4. I do wish the goodies goodies in this country would see what is happening right under our noses
    This are mostly older age guys who are invading this country under the pretending to be so called refugees
    They are i am sure but i have no proof being funded by regimes such as Iran and suchlike
    The police have even said before christmas warning about gun smuggling into the UK
    Well put two and two together
    Even Diane Abbot couldn’t get that sum wrong

  5. Successive governments have permitted the levels of immigration because (a) we have an increasingly elderly population and a diminishing population of working age to support them, (b) British industry needs more skilled and semi-skilled workers than our pitiful trade training set-up produces, (c) British farmers and the service sector need keen workers to do the less-well-paid jobs that young Brits turn their noses up at and (d) the Treasury and country benefit enormously from the influx of additional tax-payers – the immigrants pay in more per head than the Brits do, as a high number are of working age, not retired, and a far smaller proportion are on lifelong unemployment/disability/etc benefits, as so many Brits are.

    We are not alone in facing a soaring number of pensioners and declining birth rate, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Scandinavian countries etc are in the same boat and have also permitted considerable immigration for the same reasons. UK governments should have explained the need for a larger workforce, expanded the housing, schooling and NHS to cope with additional numbers, got trade training built back up to where it was before Thatcher, etc, etc.

    It is very easy for the Nigel Farages of this world to bleat on about immigration and whip-up anti-immigrant phobias without addressing the underlying issue that we actually need a lot of them here.

    Ref ‘pretending’ to be refugees, there are millions who have left Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghan, Lebanon etc for their own safety and/or to find employment; including many middle class qualified people, Christians and other persecuted groups, who have no future in these countries under the current repressive regimes and face violence meted out by terrorists and hard-line religious zealots.

    A bit like the original Pilgrims who vacated this island for the USA!

    What a terrible fuss Javid is making about the small number of immigrants crossing the Channel. It was 230 people in total last year, compared to the colossal number crossing the Med to Europe. For him, the son of a non-white immigrant, to play the race card – which is what the anti-immigrant chant is in reality – is pretty poor and rules him out as a serious leadership contender.

    I assume the reason that the RN doesn’t have an OPV in the Channel is because the current 3 are funded on operations by DEFRA specifically for Fishery Protection, so are needed elsewhere. The sooner we have 6 or 7 regionally-based Rivers, ideally double-crewed to allow maximum time at sea, the better. For the Border Force to only have 4 cutters to patrol UK coasts is pathetic really, UKBF looks like a political figleaf, a pretence of doing something without willing the means to do so. We know this trick well from defence.

    • Why didn’t they encourage native British people to have families to increase our population? Answer because they wanted this to happen, it has all been planned. Also, they DELIBERATELY don’t train British people so they have an excuse to flood our country with immigrants.

      We have let more than enough immigrants into Britain by now, we can’t just keep letting more in forever, we have to draw the line somewhere, what are we going to do, just keep letting more in until we are outnumbered in our own country?

      • Because the days of large families are over. My mum was one of 5, my dad one of 4. Each of my grandparents was one of at least 5.

        But the days where couples had large numbers of children are over for a number of reasons, none of which are to do with immigration.

        1) women now go to work and have careers of their own. They aren’t simply housewives cooking, cleaning and looking after the children. This shift started after WW2 so it’s not a new phenomenon.

        2) women who have children want to go back to work. The more kids you have the harder it is to do.

        3) with modern birth control, couples can choose how many children they want, if any. It’s not a lottery every time they have sex.

        4) it’s too damn expensive. The cost of living has gone up so much now that the aforementioned women simply have to go to work; both parents earning to provide for any kids.

        5) People are having lids later; previous generations got married young and had kids young. Now people want to enjoy life and establish careers first.

        None of those are related to immigration at all.

        • Ah but, Try telling that to the Immigrants though. (Slaps head, rolls eyes) Gravy train and soft touch springs to mind.

      • How do you ‘encourage’ couples to have more children than they want, or single people to get married and have families when they don’t want to?

        It is a Western problem, women putting careers first and maybe not having children at all, the acceptance of contraception in Catholic countries, which saw the birth rate in Italy for instance fall below the death rate, with quite an alarming drop in overall population.

        None of it has been PLANNED, it is just the way modern civilisation has developed. And the axing of our trade training, by putting the onus on the construction, hospitality, banking etc etc industries to finance and train people, rather than the state doing it, was a deliberate political move by Thatcher in pursuit of that great Tory Holy Grail, the reduction of public expenditure to about the level of Peru!

        Needless to say, the industry training boards have been useless, the large companies train a few to meet their specialist needs, most school leavers never get near a trade training scheme. This incidentally is why Polish, Lithuanian, Romanian construction workers are in such demand in the UK, I can get a squad of properly-trained workmen who are positive about working, with none of the unskilled, untrained Brit workers turning up late, missing days, grumbling away over their tea, dodging off early and needing copious amounts of watching. Clients like the former, not so much the latter.

        • Just look at nursing, we can’t even fill the uni places, who in our safe wealthy nation wants to taken on 60k worth of dept and 3 years to qualify in a profession that pays 21-29k a year and burns you out after a couple of decades with a whole photo album of dead people in your head, a guilt complex and PTSD.

          I’ll tell you who, those people who come from countries where being a nurse is a respected way to escape grinding poverty.

          The sad truth is that there are lots of jobs that a lot of our pampered population would not do for a good wage (like nursing) let alone a poorly paid one like farm labourers.

        • At one time Canada offered cash to citizen families who had children, back when Canada was in need of people. Now its easier/cheaper to let immigrants in to do the work.

        • You can just as easily find lazy immigrants and good British workers though, so it is a lie to say they are all good workers and all British workers are bad. But I agree to some extent, a lot of the Eastern European workers are good workers. It would be a good idea to give preference to Eastern Europeans in immigration as they are usually good workers and also fit straight in with European culture, that should be used as a bargaining chip in Brexit, preference for E.U. citizens in immigration in exchange for some concessions of our own.

          And yes, you can encourage indigenous people to have families through the media, government, etc. but they didn’t want that, if anything they promoted the opposite because that is what they wanted all along.

    • So are you in favor of this modern slavery, where it is cheaper for big business to pay a pittance to a migrant to do a drudge job, rather than invest in new machinery?
      Lets not forget that migrants get old & ill, at which point they need to draw on our pensions, welfare & health services.

    • i’ve had a reply from the M.O.D in regarding the building of conventional submarines, i was told the u.k no longer has the designs for building them or the capacity to do so! the idea of a national shipbuilding plan is a sham and a damning indictment of the shoddy was one of our major industries has been left to rot away.

  6. UKBF sea going element, has been allowed to wither on the vine, as it only previously had to carry out it’s part of a wider EU plan.

    You know the plan, every man and his dog flying an EU state flag could fish our waters while our own fishing fleet was scrapped on mass and once thriving costal communities went into decline. That fantastic plan.

    Well soon, we will have our own economic zone to police and don’t look at the depleted Navy to do it. Better start building up the Boarder Force quick smart.

    • The UK Border Force is actually nothing to do with the EU, it’s a British initiative. Members of the Schengen agreement have to police their external borders to non-EU countries and some choose to do this by having a Border Force agency.

      But we are not a signatory to Schengen and have no such obligations; the UKBF is a purely British invention, entirely under the control of the UK. The fact that it looks rather thin and slightly shambolic testifies to it being a home-grown political creature, there to smooch the public and the tabloids as much as to safeguard our borders. (Bear in mind that its personnel are just the same customs and airport security people and budget we have always had, just the name and badge have changed).

      • We definitely need to spend more on our border force that is one thing we can all agree on (personnel, cutters, aircraft, etc.). We need to control our borders much more tightly in future than what we have been.

        • what use are the archers? they sit alongside a wall someplace, and when they can be used to support the border force, they’re not, some are ‘fann’y boats for universities to play with.

          • There is a need for basic sea training and the Archers are fine for that. But they are pretty small, in the USN, they would be classed as PBH, basically harbour and (close) inshore patrol boats.

            They are not designed for heavy sea states offshore so would not be much use as UKBF cutters, though maybe they could do an inshore job in the Channel.

            The UNRUs are a useful way of recruiting future RN officers, would hate to see the MOD find an excuse to cut their training tenders to save a pittance. We should really be supplying Archers to the RNR to give them some sea-going training and experience, which would work wonders for recruitment and retention.

            UKBF has 5 cutters, not 4 as I thought. 42m, 257 tonnes (1 is 434 tonnes), 26 kts top speed in calm waters, crew of 12, unarmed, cost £4m+ each second-hand. Should be robust enough for inshore patrol duties.

            They also have 4 20m RIBs with cabins, crew of 6, which should be able to handle at least part of the coastal role in Kent and East Sussex.

            That is nowhere near enough really, even for key bits of the South-East coastline. As they are paid for and manned by the Home Office, it will be interesting to see if Javid actually does anything about increasing the numbers, rather than just wuffling in the press.

  7. They have had two years to get ready to leave the EU and a growing economic migrant problem that goes back even longer …

    They have just rearranged deckchairs on the Titanic …

    Bloody useless govenment

  8. We have to keep all 8 River class O.P.V.s, and even that isn’t enough considering some will be deployed abroad (Falklands, etc.), and some will be in repair, refit, etc. We have to build 2-4 more for a total of 10-12. France, Italy and Spain all have more O.P.V.s than us with shorter coastlines, and with Brexit we will need to patrol our E.E.Z. so we have to build more of these inexpensive vessels, the work could be given to Babcocks Appledore yard.

    We also absolutely have to have more border force cutters.

    • Agree with you about Appledore mate. The last English Shipyard to produce Whole Warships. Another Disgrace In my book. Who the hell in England Hates the English so much ?

      (getting a tad annoyed with some of this stuff of late. might have to go lay down in a dark place).

      • captain P Wash, Agree mate, I hope the Type 31 contract goes to Cammel Lairds on the Mersey, I don’t mind Scotland getting some, or even most, of the Royal Navy’s shipbuilding, but they can’t have all of it, every single bit.

    • At least they have committed to keeping Mersey, Tyne, and Severn active – which will take us to 8 OPVs, assuming Clyde decommissions.

      Agree with giving the work to Appledoor if we want to build more.

  9. Unchecked Immigration and the loss of control of our Laws are two of the main reasons so many of my Friends and Acquaintances voted leave. Camoron and the Rich and Powerful elite ( and Gary Lineaker) were Barking very loud at Us but “We” the majority gave them a proper big Slap.
    It’s so painfully obvious that They are still not listening. Walk down any Street, and Shopping Isle and You’d be hard pressed to understand what anyone is saying. Visit that god awful London and you’d swear you were In another Country/Planet/Solar system. The PC Brigade are hell bent on banning free speech and thought In this Small Island. The trouble Is, Not everyone wants to hear It.
    Expecting other races to just slot in nicely is plain Ignorant. We have “Communities”, “Enclaves”, no go zones, gangs and Criminals Galore. Nobody wants to listen or acknowledge the truths or facts but you only have to watch the news to see Who is rocking our Boat.
    We give help and Shelter but receive Violence and Hatred in return.

    If we do nothing It will only get worse.

    Time for a reset.

      • I’m of Scottish and English blood, with a fair smattering of Italian and other races, (hence the, “I’m an Englishman” remark a few days back.) Spent a lot of time travelling and a fair few years In London. So much of the Country has changed so much now, I can’t ever see It ever getting back to some sort of normal. (whatever “Normal” was ).

  10. Yore Boats Is of lack of big Bang stuff, You are no have Big Gun to act on Invaders of Land from Rusky place and no womans of balls in gentile areas.

  11. What a compeletly pointless thing and fully media thing to do. What on earth is a war ship going to do to stop level level people smuggling. All its going to do it bring the immigrants aboard and sail them over to the UK.

    This does nothing to stop or slow the activity.

  12. Unfortunately it is too easy to believe the shallow reporting on events in the channel. Border Force are and have been interceptung and turning away thousands of migrants over the last few years, yet they get little recognition. In a unique operation we have UK BF staff based in a number of French ports. Cutting off the flow. BF staff are not limitless and are deployed at the significant border areas, hence a few immigrants coming in via light aircraft or a few boats is insignificant compared to the lorries/ vans in the tunnel, dozens of vechiles are intercepted every day, in fact more immigrants are stopped coming via the tunnel in a week than all last years located in small boats. The press have lost all proportion which feeds the ignorant. On another matter, when the Home Secretary declared a major incident he did the correct action. The press do not understand that a major incident does not need to be a chaotic disaster scenario, in fact a MI is any incident that will impact adversely on a community, in this case the media whipped up such a storm the public became affected hence the MI was declared. The MI allows for additional funding to support the incident. Frequently a large football match or a parade will be classed as a MI.

    • Well I guess having 300,000 a year Is fine then, as long as They don’t arrive in small boats. MI …. lol.

    • UK Immigration Figures. 2016, 330,000. 2017. 230,000. (that they know about). Obviously I don’t live on the same Planet as you. Are you sure Elvis Is Dead ?

    • Basil that 300,000 figure I oft quote and which the Capt did is an official figure from the ONS. The net increase in UK population after those emigrating are taken into account.

      Times that by 4 years and it is over 1 million.

      Please tell me where they are going to live?

      Where are they going to work?

      Where is the sewage, the schooling, the infrastructure, the homes?

      Are you happy to see the Green belt destroyed to put houses on it?

      Not to mention an ageing population to go with it.

      Do you know how much pressure is being put on local councils by Central Government to build on it and the financial incentives put their way?

      And can you explain the social consequences to so many sick to the back teeth with what is happening, not having voted for it, vilified as “racist” by being concerned at what is taking place and seeing their nation changed in a few decades?

      Elvis comments really are silly.

      • Daniele, The Elvis comment left me “All Shook Up” More than the Ignorance of actual Immigration Figures . Well said mate.

  13. Reading some of the posts is depressing, The UK has always been a melting pot of nationalities, often brought to the UK by government schemes to support our economic development, post ww2 we needed help from our colonies, hence schemes to bring in west Indians, Pakistani and Indian workers, today we are heavily recruiting Commonwealth nationals for the armed services. Why? It seems that UK residents don’t want to work in certain areas, nhs, care, agriculture, fisheries to name a few, so we can’t blame companies for recruiting foreigners. If we had full employment or a surplus of nationals looking for work wr could justifiably shut the door, but we don’t, almost every hotel in London, cardiff, Edinburgh are manned by forign nationals because the locals won’t work. So until we sort out our own house immigrants will keep coming as there is work. As for fishing, during the 80’s over 65% of the British registered fishing fleet sold thier quoters to the French, Dutch, Belgium and Spanish, so now we are in the stupid situation of our industries own making. Hopefully out of the EU will allow for a new system however it will not be easy.

    • Yes Basil.

      Agreed with much of that.

      But NOT at the levels currently seen since New Labour in 1997.

      I just cannot understand why you cannot see it.

      PS, my father was an immigrant here too, in 1962. There was not mass immigration then.

  14. I wouldn’t say we needed help from our ex colonies. It was part of a deal by the big banks who bailed us out in ww2. Just think about it, at our lowest point in history, our weakest point. We was forced to accept a massive debt, forced into multiculturalism, and forced to hand over Israel in just 2 days! Every other hand Over of our colonies took a minimum of two years.
    No one ever speaks of this
    We lost ww2. We have never been the same since. Ideological subversion has kicked in now we are doomed!!

  15. One “River” to cover such a large area , why not use our smaller units , these little plastic tubs using far less crew could provide a grey curtain in the channel both for Fishery and border protection after Brexit and the run up to .

  16. Can anyone explain why the normally obvious sharp angulation in Mersey’s bow is completely invisible in the photo above or is it just my old eyes?

    • It’s definitely HMS Mersey and the line Is still there but the Lighting and angle have helped soften It. There Is a clearer picture (Same one ) on Fan dom. or just search HMS Mersey image on Google.

  17. It seems that the UK and the RN have again let the ball drop. The RN in all fairness has never been funded well for operations in brown water. It is time possibly for the UK to look at a Coast Guard similar to the US.
    So what resources do we have, well to start the five Revenue cutters, eight OPVs and three Scottish fisheries vessels. . That gives 16 hulls, they are short on air support. This could possibly be rectified in an ingenious way, if I am correct the UK has some semi-ridged airships such as airlander 10, I am sure that they could be outfitted with cameras and surveillance radar and stay up for several days. It appears that the airship can operate for five days manned, and two weeks remotely, a unit cost of 25 million and an operating cost of less than 10,000 per hour. Six such aircraft could give the UK a very good sea, air and electronic intel platform for a small budget. The can operate in winds up to 50 knots and have a service ceiling of 6,500 m +, if the wind state get to high they can either move location or return to base at a speed of 80-100 knots.
    By incorporating all of the OPVs, Revenue cutters and Scottish vessels as well as air support into a proper coast guard the RN could then concentrate on blue water operations. Hopefully saving monies for investment into the RN. If the RN does become the recipient of the save monies then possibly they could invest that into a corvette style ship such as the Sa’ar 6 class corvette. The Sa’ar 6 seems to cost about 100 million possibly we could have twelve of these instead of five T31s or a mix of three T31s and 6* Sa’ar 6s. At no extra build cost. These ships would beef up the Coast Guard, can be used to escort Russian ships through British waters, Anti-piracy/ Anti narcotic patrols and or permanent overseas basing such as Falklands/ Gib or Indian Ocean. Just imagine how insulting it would be to the Russians by just sending out a corvette to escort them.
    As for crewing such Coast Guard craft why not do it the way it was done at the turn of the 20th century, serving members of the RN could after twelve years of duty join the coast guard and continue there service until pension age. However they should be ready to rejoin the RN in times of need.
    The other issue that no-one seems to have picked up on is the problem that the RNLI will face, it is a charity, probably one of the UKs best loved charities with limited incomes from the government. If this situation in the Chanel increases it will put a severe strain on their resources. Also where do they take the illegals to the UK or France?
    No matter which way we look at it with Brexit coming around the corner, illegals trying to cross the Chanel, illegal drug smuggling going on the UK waters needs to have a beefed up protection force. For to long have we sat back, complained, relied on the situation that we are in the EU and let infrastructure and capabilities collapse around our ears. It is time to wake up, clean or moat and prepare the defensive wall.


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