Despite increased UK-funded security and the demolition of part of the ‘jungle’ camp in March, hundreds more migrants have reached Calais putting total figures waiting to smuggle into Britain at up to an estimated 7,000.
The official figures for Pas de Calais region put the total at 3,900 — up from the reported 3,500 at the end of March. However, Reuters reports that according to local aid organisations, the real number of migrants waiting to illegally cross the English Channel and enter Britain is much higher — in the range of 5,000 and 7,000 people, from mostly the Middle East and Africa.
In response to the rising numbers, UKIP defence spokesman, Mike Hookem MEP, stated: “Now the weather is getting better in Northern Europe it is the prime time for migrants to camp out and prepare to smuggle themselves to the UK.
“I was there in Calais when they were bulldozing parts of the camp and migrants were telling me despite the pouring rain and freezing temperatures they weren’t going anywhere.”
Indeed, migrants have been encouraged to move into other sections of the camp, which have heated tents and a so-called ‘city’ constructed of converted shipping containers, as well as being invited to be transported to one of France’s 136 official reception centres — yet the numbers have risen since March.
Mr. Hookem continued: “The incentives for migrants getting to Britain is still there — nothing will change in terms of the migrant crisis and the continual demand to get to Britain.”
Security measures introduced in October 2015, including extra fencing, hundreds of additional police officers and security cameras, which were funded by the UK taxpayer, were intended to deter migrants from crossing the channel.
However, Reuters reported that migrants are still attempting to make the crossing “either by climbing onto lorries heading onto ferries or by breaking into the nearby Channel Tunnel”.
Mr. Hookem blasted the government and the EU for “abandon[ing]” British lorry drivers, and the unconsidered effect obstructions for drivers will have on British businesses and the supply chain.
British lorry drivers face considerable danger driving through Calais as reported by Breitbart London last year. British lorry drivers claiming that their colleagues have been stabbed and beaten, with drivers resorting to risking prosecution by carrying Taser stun guns to defend themselves against attacks from violent migrants.
Mr. Hookem concluded that “Until we take control of our borders we will face this continually.”
“Voting for Brexit sends the message that the UK is not part of the freedom of movement narrative and we won’t be a cash cow for people traffickers and terrorists.”
Reuters contributed to this report.