Freight News, Road

FTA calls on French to get a grip as migrant crisis worsens

[ August 21, 2014   //   ]

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has written to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond asking him to lobby the French government to take control of the worsening migrant situation in Calais.
FTA’s international affairs manager, Donald Armour says there are about 1,200 migrants living rough in Calais and the surrounding area, waiting to hitch a ride on lorries into the UK. Many drivers “have experienced regular and sometimes serious confrontations with the would-be stowaways,” he added.
He continued: “The French government should either deal with these migrants through the asylum process which is clearly laid out under EU law…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.”

Detected attempts at illegal entry into the UK increased by 58% (8,400 to 13,300) during April to December 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.
The UK Border Force and French authorities have a good working relationship but it is clear that resources are stretched. FTA says that the UK Border Force has plans to ramp up security measures including additional fencing around port areas, increased searching of vehicles at control booths and the introduction of new detection technologies, whilst additional secure lorry parking is being planned, but that all takes time.
Amour 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.”