“At last the government seems to be waking up to the crisis in the Port of Calais that is affecting not only food imports into the UK but also major road arteries in Kent and beyond. But the Home Secretary’s statement is short on implementing the two critical things that will make a real difference in both stopping illegal immigration into the UK from Calais and making travel through the Port safer for British holiday makers and lorry drivers.
“First, the government needs to put its money where its mouth is and increase the number of UK border personnel working in Calais to back up the introduction of new technologies. We simply cannot rely solely on the French alone to check the Lorries heading into Britain. Indeed, I know of several cases where British Lorry drivers have had their vehicles checked by the French Authorities only to have illegals found in their loads when they reach British checkpoints.
“Second, the government needs to negotiate with the French authorities a scheme to ensure the immediate return of illegals to France when they are found on UK Lorries coming from there once in the UK. This one prioritised step will send the word out to those waiting to make their attempts in Jungle camps in Calais that even if you make it to the UK your illegal efforts will not be rewarded. In addition the UK government should not accept any political asylum cases of those who illegally enter the UK from Calais as those cases should have been dealt with in France or in the first European country in which they landed.
“The people of the UK want timely action not mere words. The Home Secretary has taken far too long to recognise this worsening crisis in one of the most important entry points to the UK and is now offering so-called solutions which will make little difference to attempts to enter our country illegally”
Notes to Editors: Report on Home Secretary's Calais statement to House of Commons