French border chief says UK 'a magnet for illegal immigrants'
The immigration chief in Calais has said the UK has created "a magnet for illegal immigrants."
Philippe Mignonet, the French port town's deputy mayor, claimed up to 40 migrants a night were getting through to the UK, despite the UK and French border agencies' efforts to stop them.
He also accused Britain of hypocrisy for talking tough on immigration whilst allowing migrants to stay in the country, and called for border controls - a fundamentally "British problem" - to be transferred from Calais to Dover.
He told the Daily Telegraph: "The quickest, most radical and easiest solution would be simply to shift the border from Calais to Dover and Folkestone and then the problem wouldn't be handled in France but Britain.
"The ease with which illegal immigrants can work on the black market in Britain, coupled with the fact that migrants' family members can more easily join them, means that Britain is a magnet for illegal immigrants."
French interior minister Manuel Valls last week pledged police reinforcements for Calais, where many migrants make or attempt the Channel crossing, to deal with migrants.
He also said he had invited Home Secretary Theresa May to visit the town next year to renegotiate an arrangement under which Britain pays towards the policing of migrants in Calais, with British police and border officials operating on the French side of the Channel.
The Public Accounts Committee last week charged the Border Agency with failing to meet eight of its 19 performance targets.
A decision to prioritise passenger checks last year meant that illegal immigrant checks on freight had been suspended, the committee said.
Committee chairwoman Margaret Hodge said: "The Border Force prioritised passenger checks on arrival at the expense of other duties and weakened the security of our borders.
"The force neglected to examine freight for illicit goods, neglected to check lorries in Calais for concealed illegal entrants, and failed to check passengers coming into Britain on private planes or boats, potentially letting billionaire gangsters off the hook."
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 5 Modern society encapsulated in five seconds
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Germanwings crash: Captain of doomed plane was only 'on board because he changed job to spend more time with his children'
Iran nuclear talks: Prospect of deal with Iran pushes Saudi Arabia and Israel into an unlikely alliance
A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£30,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a perso...
£21,000 - £24,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: Are you looking for a new opportunit...
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£55,000 - £65,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accountant with ...