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EUROMOVERS International

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FTA fights passage to Eldorado

Oct 09, 2014
Last month, Natacha Bouchart, the Mayor of Calais threatened to block the Channel port if the British government does not send out “a clear message” to resolve the problem of the several hundred migrants that are gathered in her constituency with the intention of gaining passage to the ‘Eldorado’ that they believe the UK to be.

At the time of writing she had not carried through her threat however, it is clear that this situation cannot be allowed to continue.


The UK’s Freight Transport Association (FTA) has written to UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond asking him to lobby the French government to take control of the worsening migrant situation in Calais, which it claims poses an increasing threat to the safety of cross-channel lorry drivers. FTA’s International Affairs Manager, Donald Armour, said many FTA members operating international road freight services employ drivers who have experienced regular and sometimes serious confrontations with the would-be stowaways.


Current migration trends across the EU are at an all-time high. During April to December 2013, compared to the same period in 2012, the number of detected attempts at illegal entry into the UK increased by 58% to 13,300, according to the FTA.

Armour said: “The French government should either deal with these migrants through the asylum process which is clearly laid out under EU law, accept them as immigrant workers or deport them. Allowing them to roam the streets and intimidate drivers is unacceptable and would be treated as a ‘breach of the peace’ by the UK police.”

The FTA said the UK Border Force and French authorities have a good working relationship, but it is clear that resources are stretched. The FTA said it was aware that the UK Border Force has plans to ramp up security measures, which include additional fencing around port areas, increased searching of vehicles at the control booths and the introduction of new detection technologies, while additional secure lorry parking is being planned, but said that all takes time.

Armour added: “These are all ‘sticking plaster’ measures - what needs to be done is for the Foreign Office to demand that the French government removes these people from the streets of Calais in the first place. Other EU Member States also have a key role, to ensure the safety and security of the Union, particularly those in the south and east peripheries.”

Image: Migrants in Calais pose an increasing threat to the safety of cross-channel lorry drivers.


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