The railway tunnel which links Great Britain with mainland Europe has had a difficult weekend, as illegal immigrants have taken advantage of the chaos in Calais, France, to attempt the walk to England.
After a series of shocking security breaches at the French end of the Eurotunnel, which saw a reported 150 migrants break into the secure loading area and storm trains and lorries preparing to proceed to England, the tunnel’s operators have pledged to boost security.
In extraordinary amateur footage obtained by the British ITV station, migrants can be seen crawling over vehicles and finding places to hide, as Eurotunnel employees directing traffic look on in apparent disinterest. The situation in Calais has reached levels of chaos not before seen as striking drivers sabotaging the railway have given the perfect opportunity to the thousands of migrants living in transit camps around the city to attempt to board stationary traffic heading to England.
The migrant invasion into operational areas of the railway have created delays of their own, with ‘Operation Stack’ – the transformation of Britain’s M20 motorway to France into a giant stationary lorry-park taking place for the second time this week.
The BBC reports politicians on both sides of the English Channel had different ideas about who was to blame for the crisis. At a meeting in Calais, UK home affairs spokesman and Labour MP Keith Vaz said the problem was created by the EU’s poor handling of the Mediterranean migrant crisis. Calais’s deputy mayor, Philippe Mignonet on the other hand had different ideas, blaming Britain for being too appealing to migrants. He said:
“We know in England there are no identity cards for example, nor identity controls, nor controls in companies to fight against illegal workers.
“That’s a first step. When people will know that they can’t work easily in England on the black market, they will change their mind.”
Follow Oliver Lane on Twitter: Follow @Oliver_Lane or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org