“It is in the joint interest of the United Kingdom and France to work together to tackle the pressures at the port of Calais and to prevent illegal migrants coming to this country in the first place,” says the UK Home Office’s statement emailed to Sputnik news agency.
On Thursday, the French port city of Calais opened the Jules Ferry camp for migrants. The camp, built on the site of a former children’s summer camp, provides all the necessary facilities to house migrants, including showers, bedding, and even power points to charge cellphones.
The opening of the facility has raised fears in the United Kingdom over increasing numbers of illegal migrants arriving in the UK from France, via illegal ferry crossings.
The UK Home Office underlined that the “opening of the day centre is entirely a matter for the French authorities, and the UK is not providing any funding or support for it.”
“That is why we have committed £12 million [$18.3 million] to help reinforce security. This includes installing security fencing and improving the flow of traffic at the port in order to reduce the risk of queuing vehicles being targeted by migrants,” the UK Home Office’s press service said in a statement.
It also noted that some 3 million pounds had already been invested to upgrade vehicle scanning equipment.
In late December, it was reported that the number of migrants caught attempting to enter the United Kingdom illegally has increased fourfold over the past three years to nearly 3,000 a month.
Some 11,920 attempted entries by illegal immigrants were recorded in the first four months of 2014 at UK ports and at Calais.
The United Kingdom is one of the most popular destinations for migrants due to its perceived favorable social benefits, from free health care to a generous welfare system.