Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire has quashed rumours that the French are looking to undo the Le Touquet Treaty which allows British border forces to operate in Calais.
The City’s mayor Natacha Bouchart is among voices calling for the border with Britain and France to be moved back across the Channel, putting the town of Dover at the front line of the asylum problem.
During a visit to Calais interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve was told that a proposed day centre for migrants would become “a ghetto” comparable with Sangatte.
The Times reports on an editorial in the City’s newspaper which called on M Cazeneuve to “save Calais” because “the town is on the verge of implosion.”
The ongoing crisis in the town has caused diplomatic ructions as French politicians have accused the UK of doing too little to deal with the influx of migrants who are only in Calais because they have been stopped there en route to Britain. “They would rather we were in Dover than Calais” said one migrant.
Mr Brokenshire told Breitbart London: “It is in the joint interest of the United Kingdom and France to work together to tackle the pressures on the port of Calais. That is why the Home Secretary and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve recently reaffirmed their commitment to further joint action, including bolstering security.
“The priority now is to implement the practical solutions that have been agreed. Work has started on installing the security fences we provided and should be completed over the coming weeks. This will build on the sustained UK support and investment in improving physical security and upgrading technology at Calais.
“We are also working to deliver long term solutions. This includes improving the infrastructure and flow of traffic at Calais in order to reduce the risk of queuing vehicles on the approach roads which are targeted by migrants.”
Traffic tail backs provide better opportunities for asylum seekers to sneak onto lorries bound for the ferry terminal and the sheer numbers of them mean police are unable to keep watch for all attempts to stow away.
Britain has been called on to send officials to talk to migrants and British police to join their French counterparts. Mayor Bouchart believes that if migrants were told that Britain was not ‘El Dorado’ then they would have less of an incentive to stay.
But asylum seekers living in ‘The Jungle’ told Breitbart London even if they were told that life in Britain was not as luxurious as they imagined ‘they were there now’ and would not go home.
Young men from Eritrea said they would be in danger if they went home, having left the country. Many also confirmed that it was a British education they were after, rather than ‘hand outs’; something which PR patrols wouldn’t counter.
But longer term the solution could be more shaky for the Home Office as the most recent polling ahead of the French Presidential elections in 2017 show a strong lead for the centre right UMP with Le Pen’s Front National in second place. A change of government could well lead to a change of policy over the UK/France border and in the run up to elections the socialists could seek to boost their sagging poll figures with a populist strategy in the high profile City.
While the Treaty allows British border workers to operate in Calais, in reality the main obstacle for migrants is getting across the Channel when they don’t have permission.
Should they be allowed to travel to Dover the problem of the camps and violence in the town by both sides would be alleviated for the French and become a real problem for Britain and the Port of Dover.
With asylum centres based in the UK it would be easier for inmates to escape and make their way to London and other cities in the UK, essentially becoming lost from the system.