Politicians step up attempts to take control of migrant crisis in Calais

Home Secretary Theresa May has announced a £12m deal to tackle the problem of illegal immigrants attempting to enter Britain through Calais.

May has struck an agreement with her opposite number in France, Bernard Cazeneuve, and promised that there will be increased co-operation between the two countries’ border agencies.

The deal has been drawn up in an attempt to address growing tensions over the number of migrants who are descending on the port and making ever more desperate attempts to cross the Channel.

On Saturday, the UK Government announced it would put £4m a year, for the next three years, towards a joint intervention fund. The money will be spent on erecting new fences and increasing security in the port’s parking area – used as a staging post by many migrants.

Authorities will also look at installing technology to detect people who try and hide inside tankers and refrigerated lorries.

In a joint statement, May and Cazeneuve said: “Efforts will be made to strengthen co-operation by establishing permanent joint mechanisms to deliver the comprehensive action plan and enhance co-operation between British and French law-enforcement agencies at the border.

“This will include helping to identify measures to ensure migrants do not breach the laws of either country or threaten the safety of Calais residents or those using the port.”

Earlier this month, around 200 migrants stormed a ferry terminal and attempted to board a passenger ship. The crew managed to force the crowd back using fire hoses.

It is estimated that around 1500 illegal immigrants have congregated in the town, 50 per cent more than this time last year. Many of those hoping to make the crossing to the UK have fled recent humanitarian crises in the Middle East and Africa.

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