The British public support sending troops to northern France to stop immigrants

They see the issue as a shared problem for Britain and France however

Jon Stone
Tuesday 11 August 2015 08:33
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British soldiers carrying the SA80 rifle
British soldiers carrying the SA80 rifle

The British public strongly support the UK sending troops to northern France to stop migrants entering the channel tunnel and ferries, according to a new poll.

A survey by YouGov found that people support deploying the British Army to Calais by an overwhelming margin of 67 per cent to 19 per cent.

The findings come after David Cameron described people travelling to the UK as a “swarm” while Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond warned of “marauding” migrants threatening living standards.

Numbers of migrants camping near the port of Calais has swelled in recent months. The UK is sending extra sniffer dogs and private security personnel to Calais to assist French authorities, the Government says.

A large portion of the British public also believe that protecting the UK’s border at Calais is France’s responsibility, according to another question asked in the poll.

40 per cent of the public say dealing with the migrant situation at Calais is France’s responsibility compared to only 5 per cent the UK’s.

In France only 6 per cent of the public believe that protecting Britain’s borders is the French government’s responsibility, 11 per cent the UK.

The largest group from both countries believe the situation at Calais is a shared problem, however.

The survey also reveals a split in perceptions between British and French people about why some migrants and refugees want to come to the UK.

An overwhelming 74 per cent of British people think the UK is attractive because it has “more generous welfare benefits”. However only 17 per cent of French people agree with this statement.

Most French people, 55 per cent, say migrants are going to the UK because it is easier to work without official documentation and (45 per cent) because there are more jobs in the UK.

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