Keep your Arab Spring migrants, May tells France
Theresa May promised "strong practical action" yesterday to prevent migrants fleeing the turmoil in North Africa from reaching Britain.
The Home Secretary, visiting France to inspect cross-Channel border controls, said there was no evidence yet that refugees from the Arab Spring had arrived in this country. But she added: "We do need to look ahead to what might be happening in the future."
Thousands of migrants from Tunisia and Libya have crossed by sea to Italy, with many heading for France. Italy handed more than 25,000 Tunisians temporary permits to travel, effectively giving them unobstructed travel around much of the European Union.
Ms May has said that the Government is not prepared to "share the burden" of accommodating the new arrivals. "We need lasting practical co-operation and not burden-sharing," she said. "We very much feel we need to be working with countries in North Africa, like Tunisia, to provide practical support through the EU for them to be able to exercise border controls on their borders."
Ms May, after holding talks with her French counterpart, the interior minister, Claude Guéant, said joint operations between Britain and France had cut the number of people trying to get to this country from Calais.
"Continued pressure from illegal immigrants in France is a joint problem for both the UK and France and as such requires a joint solution. We are committed to continuing to ensure the border is impenetrable," she said.
Yesterday's joint visit was the first time a French interior minister has visited the Calais border operations since Nicolas Sarkozy, now President, vowed to close the Red Cross's controversial Sangatte refugee camp when he visited in 2002. The visit also comes the week after MPs accused the UK Border Agency of creating an amnesty for asylum seekers in an immigration system which is "not fit for purpose".
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...