France, UK to step up action to dissuade migrants

2015-07-02 18:06
Migrants wait to disembark at at Messina harbour, Italy. (AP)

Migrants wait to disembark at at Messina harbour, Italy. (AP)

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Paris - France and Britain agreed on Thursday to step up efforts to discourage migrants from Africa and the Middle East trying to stow away on vehicles crossing the Channel between the two countries.

The move was agreed after many of the about 3 000 migrants camping around the northern French port of Calais this week sought to take advantage of traffic jams caused by a French ferry workers strike to steal into stationary trucks.

Calais is one of the front lines in a wider immigration crisis in which European countries are struggling to agree among themselves how to deal with growing numbers of migrants fleeing conflict or poverty.

"Given the worsening migratory crisis in the Mediterranean and its repercussions in Calais ... the two ministers decided to boost co-operation, notably by topping up the intervention fund," said a joint statement by British Home Secretary Theresa May and French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve after talks in Paris.

They said the extra resources would allow new measures aimed at preventing migrants from gaining access to Calais port premises from the beach and to securitise the Channel Tunnel.

"Moreover, joint information campaigns aimed at explaining to migrants the realities of the British asylum and welfare system, so as to dissuade flows of migrants to the Calais region, will be pursued and stepped up."

Read more on:    uk  |  france

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