Freight News, Road

Is Calais Wall the freight industry’s Maginot Line?

[ December 19, 2016   //   ]

Work on a UK-financed €2.7m, 4-metre high wall around the port of Calais was completed in December, but it was no cause for celebration, said chair of the All Party Group on Freight Transport, Rob Flello.

The Stoke-on-Trent South MP said the problem of illegal migrants trying to steal on board UK-bound trucks, and intimidation of drivers, could only be solved by “boots on the ground, police or military, to protect them in the short term”, he said. “Beyond that, there has to be a Europe-wide solution to the migrant problem.  The wall is a sticking plaster; a gesture to show something is being done.”

He compared it to the Maginot Line, the string of supposedly impenetrable fortresses built by France after the First War to keep the Germans out who, during World War II, “just went over, round or through it.”

He added: “The British public has paid more than £2m for this useless unwanted structure.  British hauliers are still paying the price of government inability, French and British, to deal with the real problem, that of thousands of migrants desperately seeking a new life in the UK.  Does anyone seriously think the problem of illegal migration will end because the wall is complete when people have sacrificed so much to get as far as France in the first place?”

According to a BBC report on 19 December, the charity Care4Calais said that despite the closure of the ‘Jungle’ camp several hundred migrants are still hiding out in the region, aiming to stow away to the UK.



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