Ukip leader says Britain should offer refuge to Christians from Libya, as up to 700 die in latest disaster at sea
12:22PM BST 19 Apr 2015
Nigel Farage has blamed “fanatical” David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy for the drowning of hundreds of migrants off Italy, saying the exodus was “directly caused” by western intervention in the civil war in Libya.
The Ukip leader said that Nato had destabilised Libya when it launched bombing raids against Col Gaddafi in March 2011, causing the flight of refugees from the country.
He said Britain should offer refugee status to some Libyan Christians.
Up to 700 people are feared deadafter a boat carrying migrants capsized off the Libyan coast overnight. Twenty eight people were rescued in the incident, which happened in an area just off Libyan waters, south of the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, an Italian coast guard official said.
If confirmed, it would mean the total dead in the southern Mediterranean is more than 1,500.
Mr Farage rejected calls for a stronger European response to the crisis.
“It was the European response that caused this problem in the first place. The fanaticism of Sarkozy and Cameron to bomb Libya. They have completely destabilised Libya, to turn it into a country with much savagery, to turn it into a place where for Christians the place is now virtually impossible. We ought to be honest and say we have directly caused this problem”.
“There were no migrants coming in these quantities before we bombed the country, got rid of Gaddafi, however bad he might have been, and destabilised the whole situation.”
“I have not got a problem with us offering refugee status to some Christians from those countries.”
British aircraft were part of a Nato mission to bomb Gaddafi regime tanks in support of rebels.
However, since the toppling of Gaddifi Libya has fragmented with two rival governments and a series of armed militias vying for power.
It came as Mr Farage appealed to Labour voters to keep out the SNP.
«My plea from now until polling day is to Labour voters. Having taken part in the TV debates and seen the dynamics between Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, it’s pretty clear who would wear the trousers. I’m saying to Old Labour, if you are patriotic, if you want a referendum, if you think immigration needs to be controlled, do not vote for Ed Miliband, vote for Ukip.»
He said Mr Miliband had presented a «terrific opportunity» by all but ruling out an in-out referendum on EU membership.