Calais mayor in UK immigration threat


P&O is demanding urgent action by the French authorities to improve security in the port of Calais and prevent a repeat of the break-in which saw the authorities evict hundreds of migrants from trying to board ferries bound for Britain.

Ships in the port had to lock their doors, raise the ramps and even use fire hoses to prevent a group of about 100 migrants trying to force their way onto vessels on Wednesday afternoon.

The ferry company questioned whether more could have been done to prevent the mass security breach, claiming it was an “extraordinary coincidence” that so many migrants were able to get past guards on the same day the mayor of Calais threatened to blockade the port unless Britain did more to help deal with the spiralling migrant population.

The security breach came just hours after Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart threatened to shut down the French port unless Britain did more to help manage the growing number of migrants gathering around the town.

A spokesman for P&O said: “It is extraordinary that such a large number of people managed to get through security at the port on the very day the mayor of Calais was talking about staging a blockage.”

But the French authorities insist Britain must do more to help them control the burgeoning migrant population which has now reached about 1,300, according to police.

Ms Bouchart said British authorities could not keep demanding better security at Calais without paying more towards the US$12 million annual cost.

A Border Force spokesman said: “Security at the UK border is our priority, and we continue to strengthen it to stop those who have no right to enter the UK.”

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