Truckers Claim French ‘Switching Off’ UK-Funded Equipment Intended to Stop Illegal Calais Migrants

Calais
PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

The Road Haulage Association has it on “very good authority” that the French are not using the expensive heartbeat monitors UK taxpayers funded to detect illegal migrants travelling from Calais.

“The French don’t want migrants to stay in France. They don’t want to provide asylum – in fact, they don’t want to deal with the issue at all,” observed Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association (RHA).

“The migrants know the state of play. The monitors, because they are not working, instead of acting as a deterrent have the complete opposite effect.

“Switching them off encourages migrants to get through and helps them achieve their goal of reaching the UK on the back of a truck.”

Responding to news that Prime Minister Theresa May will agree to take more so-called ‘child’ migrants from Calais and hand over another £44.5 million to the French government to pay for upgrades to border security in a recent press release, Burnett said the RHA estimated “that over £100 million has already been spent on improving security at the port … So why is more investment needed?”

He added: “We already have it on very good authority that the heartbeat monitors installed at the border are not being used. Government should be pressing the French authorities to ensure that the security equipment already in place is being used before the British taxpayer is asked to fork out for more.

“And who can forget the ‘Great Wall of Calais’? Another security ‘white elephant’ paid for by UK taxpayers, that quickly proved itself to be a resounding failure.

“Despite the millions being invested, the lives of the thousands of HGV drivers that travel through Calais every day on outward and inward journeys are still being put at risk and their protection is our prime concern.”

The RHA boss suggested that the security situation in Calais was “turning into a money pit” for the British taxpayer, and demanded “transparency as to where UK money is being spent”.

He added: “We need to see the plan for tackling the situation and that includes a proper processing system in northern France to deal with migrants making asylum applications. Simply throwing more money at the problem won’t make it go away … It requires the political will and leadership from the two governments to work together to restore the rule of law to these crucial international trade routes.”

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