Officials tour camp to convince migrants Britain is not great
BRITAIN and France signed a deal yesterday to share responsibility for dealing with the crisis in migrant management that has hit Calais.
Home Secretary Theresa May — the first British minister to visit the port town’s migrant camp — and French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve met in the morning to sign the deal, which requires Britain to pay £3.5 million each year for two years to help tackle the migration “phenomenon.”
As part of the pact, British immigration officers began touring Calais to persuade migrants that the “streets are not paved with gold.”
This is the two countries’ first joint attempt to “improve” the situation, after accusing one another of not doing enough.
“Europe is experiencing unprecedented pressure from migration. At key frontiers this phenomenon presents a serious concern,” the ministers declared.
At least 10 migrants have died crossing the Channel since the start of June.
Germany also announced yesterday that it expected to take in 800,000 migrants this year.
It urged other European countries to share responsibility in providing asylum for people so desperate to seek a better life that they risk death.
“The European Commission should act against member states that are not assuming their responsibilities,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said as he announced the official estimate.
The UK Border Force is visiting the Calais camp to provide around 5,000 people living in tents and shacks with a “more dissuasive and realistic sense of life” across the Channel.
They aim to convince the migrants, most of whom are fleeing war, poverty and persecution, that Britain “is not a land of milk and honey” in terms of access to benefits and the NHS, said Immigration Minister James Brokenshire.
It follows moves by the Conservative government to deny migrants access to housing and banking if they are deemed to be in the country illegally.
Ms May also agreed to boost capacity for processing asylum claims in facilities away from Calais.
Tighter security controls will also be put in place around the Channel Tunnel following the deaths of several migrants caused by high-speed trains.
A new command centre will house British police officers who will “relentlessly pursue” gangs and identify those vulnerable to human trafficking.
Money will also be put aside to fly migrants back to their home countries.