Calais migrant crisis is 'totally unacceptable' says David Cameron as he resists calls from the French to move border to Dover

PM said more UK border staff and sniffer dog teams could be sent to French border after 350 migrants were found hidden in vehicles in just four hours

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Indy Politics

David Cameron has described the chaotic scenes in Calais, where hundreds of migrants have taken advantage of traffic delays to climb lorries heading for the UK, as "totally unacceptable".

The hold-ups in the French town were caused by striking ferry port workers. French police have reportedly found 350 migrants hidden in cars and trucks in just four hours, forcing Mr Cameron to confront the problem at Prime Minister's Questions.

Migrants are swarming trucks heading for Britain as the strike by ferry workers cause miles of hold-ups in Calais

But he resisted calls from the deputy mayor of Calais, Philippe Mignonet, who called for the border to be moved from northern France to Britain.

Yesterday the Channel Tunnel was forced to shut following the disruption. Mr Cameron told MPs that the British and French authorities must work together to stop the "significant numbers" of migrants trying to enter the UK, insisting there was "no point in either side trying to point the finger of blame".

"It is totally unacceptable scenes that we have all been witnessing in the last day," he said at Prime Minister's Questions, telling MPs that he and the Home Secretary Theresa May were looking at placing more border staff and sniffer dog teams on the French side of the Channel.

"There is also more work being done in terms of installing fencing, not just around the port at Calais but also around the Eurostar and Eurotunnel entrance," he said.

"All these things can make a difference and we should work with the French very closely. There is no point either side trying to point the finger of blame at each other. This is a strong partnership that we have in place and we should keep it that way."

However Mr Mignonet reiterated calls from French politicians for the border control to be moved to Dover, where ferries land, or the Channel Tunnel stop at Folkestone and thereby handing responsibility for the migrant crisis to the British.

"Calais is not the destination," Mr Mignonet said. "As you've heard, [migrants] want to get into trucks, they want to get to England.

Philippe Mignonet, Calais’s Deputy Mayor

"England has got to realise that it is not our responsibility. The English border is in Calais and I'm requesting, such as Natacha Bouchart for the border to be transferred back in Dover and in Folkestone.

"We can't just accept any more, to be blamed for immigrancy (sic). Again, they want to go to England, they are not coming to Calais, they go through Calais to get to England."