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 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Chief Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone has contracted the deadly disease himself
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Chief Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone has contracted the deadly disease himself
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Banking, Financial Reporting, ...
£375 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + V. Competitive : Progressive Recruitment: Embedded...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a Global Professional Service...