Migrants trying to get into Britain 'could target holidaymakers', claims Eurotunnel

Crisis could get worse as we approach winter

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The Independent Online

Holidaying motorists returning to Britain could be targeted in Calais by migrants desperate to get into the country, a senior Eurotunnel executive has told MPs.

The warning came amid dismay over the large numbers camping near the French town’s ferry terminals in the hope of smuggling themselves on lorries bound for Britain.

John Keefe, Eurotunnel’s public affairs director, said they could change tactics particularly if tougher security is put around the terminal used by commercial vehicles.

He told the Commons home affairs select committee: “The crisis could potentially get even worse. As we approach winter, it could start to overlap on to the passenger market.”

With the Christmas break approaching, he said, there could be longer queues of stationary traffic as people waited to board shuttle trains.

Mr Keefe said: “The slower the flows of traffic through the border, the more opportunity there is for migrants to jump on to vehicles.”

Representatives of the Road Haulage Association and the UK Chamber of Shipping both said they regarded Calais of being in crisis.

Tim Reardon of the chamber said Calais was now regarded not as a port and a place to do business but as “a place where there is a problem with migrants”.

James Brokenshire, the Immigration minister, said the Government was spending £12m over three years to toughen security at Calais and increase the traffic flows.