Nigel Farage
The Ukip leader's claim comes after controversial remarks on foreign HIV patients Getty

The European Union's (EU) response to the deaths of around a thousand migrants who attempted cross the Mediterranean to reach the continent could leave the UK open to Islamic extremists, Nigel Farage has warned.

The Ukip leader also argued that a common EU migration and asylum policy would pose a "direct threat to our civilisation".

"The clear demand for the rapid implementation of a common EU migration and asylum policy, to be confirmed in a vote in the European parliament, would be wholly unacceptable to a United Kingdom that already has levels of immigration that are too high, and as Isis have previously threatened, could lead to half a million Islamic extremists coming to our countries and posing a direct threat to our civilisation," he said.

IBTimes UK visited to one of the migrant camps in Italy, where thousands of the refugee hopefuls from North Africa are held.

The compound, located near Catania, is Europe's largest migrant holding camp and its inhabitants claim some of the staff abuse and exploit them, allegations officials deny.

Meanwhile, Farage's Strasbourg speech comes after the Eurosceptic firebrand made some controversial statements during ITV's leaders' debate about foreign HIV patients being treated in the UK.

"You can come to Britain from anywhere in the world and get diagnosed with HIV and get the retroviral drugs that cost up to £25,000 ($38,418) per year per patient," he said.

"I know there are some horrible things happening in many parts of the world, but what we need to is put the NHS there for British people and families who in many cases have paid into this system for decades."

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood immediately criticised the Ukip leader for the comments and argued that Farage should be "ashamed of yourself".