#AceNewsReport – FRANCE:June.24: Scenes of hundreds of migrants in Calais trying to board lorries to the UK during a strike were “totally unacceptable”, PM David Cameron says. Ministers said a “significant number” of would-be migrants had been stopped during the French ferry worker strike.
Mr Cameron told MPs it was important to work with France to tackle the problem and warned against “either side trying to point the finger of blame”.
Cross-Channel transport is returning to normal although there are delays.
Ferry, Eurotunnel and Eurostar services are running mostly to schedule, but those delayed on Tuesday face waits to rebook trains.
The M20 in Kent is closed between junctions 8 and 9 as parts of the motorway are used to create a queue for lorries heading to the continent. The operation will last for the rest of Wednesday, Kent Police said.
Mr Cameron said more needed to be done to tackle the issue of migrants trying to cross the channel to the UK, but the strike had played a “key role” in Tuesday’s events.
He said the UK government wanted to see better documentation of migrants coming into Europe via the Mediterranean.
The PM said he had discussed putting more border staff and sniffer dog teams in Calais.
He added ministers needed to act to:
■ Ensure better security at Calais, in co-operation with French authorities
■ Work with European partners to stop the problem “at source”, breaking the link between travelling to Europe by boat and “getting settlement” in Europe
■ Make sure Britain is a “less easy place for illegal migrants to come to and work in”
Home Secretary Theresa May, meanwhile, said the UK Border Force had put in place “tried and tested” contingency plans.
She said: “Despite the extra pressure caused by the French strikers, Border Force maintained border security by following plans to put additional staff in place to search freight vehicles passing through the affected ports.”
Analysis: BBC political editor Nick Robinson
The story of Calais is an enormous headache for the prime minister and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Just as the prime minister is about to formally table his proposal to re-negotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU at a leader’s summit he is confronted by images that highlight the issue that does the most to alienate voters from Europe – immigration.
Read Nick’s blog here.
Calais migrant scenes unacceptable, David Cameron saysScenes of hundreds of migrants in Calais trying to board lorries to the UK during a strike were “totally unacceptable”, David Cameron says.
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