23:20 GMT +319 August 2019
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    A migrant stands between two trailers of a lorry as he attempts to cross the English Channel, in Calais, northern France, Wednesday, June 24, 2015.

    UK Calls Emergency Meeting as Calais Migrant Crisis Deepens

    © AP Photo / Thibault Camus
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    The UK Government has called an emergency meeting of senior ministers and security officials after a second night when hundreds of migrants in Calais attempted to jump onto freight trains traveling towards the UK through the Channel Tunnel.

    Pressure is growing for the UK to take more action to resolve the Calais migrant crisis which has caused chaos on the roads in Northern France and South East England, affecting freight train services and freight trucks. 

    The UK government has promised a further $11 million to put in place even more security measures, including extra fencing and intelligence backup. It has already paid $5 million for extra security at the port, after criticism from tunnel operator Eurotunnel that Britain was not doing enough.

    A migrant goes inside a lorry to attempt to cross the English Channel, in Calais, northern France, Wednesday, June 24, 2015.
    © AP Photo / Thibault Camus
    A migrant goes inside a lorry to attempt to cross the English Channel, in Calais, northern France, Wednesday, June 24, 2015.

    Cameron is under pressure at home from a skeptical public who believe that the issue is not a British one and that it is for the French Government to clamp down on the migrants, who arrive on French soil.

    Meanwhile, it emerged that the French and UK Governments are considering a plan to repatriate many of the migrants to West Africa, although Sputnik has established from sources in London that there are no concrete plans for how this course of action could work.

    UK Border Controls on French Soil

    One man died Wednesday as more than 1,500 migrants attempting to reach Britain stormed the Channel Tunnel, bringing freight services to a halt. 2,000 migrants stormed the tunnel Monday night attempting to jump onto freight carriages which run from Calais.

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron — on a visit to the Far East — said:

    "This is very concerning. We are working very closely with the French. We have invested money in the fencing around Calais, including fencing around the entrance to the tunnel. We are doing everything we can. We know how important this is."

    The situation in Calais is complicated in that hundreds of migrants — mainly from North Africa — have been amassing at Calais for the past few years and are camped out near the port of Calais and the Eurotunnel entrance.

    Britain has been very careful not to blame the French Government for not doing enough to stop the migrants amassing at the port and causing travel chaos, despite public opinion in the UK which is critical of the French.

    Bring in the Army

    Anti-EU party UKIP leader Nigel Farage has called for the British Army to be sent to Dover to help search vehicles and freight trains for migrants who make it through the tunnel.

    Don Armour, the head of international affairs at the Freight Transport Association, told The Guardian: "They're trained and they would know what to do.

    "It may not be the way forward that would be approved. But perhaps it could be one of a number of solutions that the government might like to consider because we could be talking about people's lives."

    The UK and France have signed a series of protocols which allowed for UK border staff to operate in France so that the UK border control would be at the French coast and not on the British side in Dover. Thousands of people have therefore been refused entry into the UK on the Calais side, leading to the migrant camp and the ever-more desperate attempts to jump on trains and trucks to make it across the English Channel.

    A EuroTunnel train coming out of the Channel Tunnel, owned by EuroTunnel, on in Coquelles, northern France.
    © AFP 2019 / Denis Charlet
    A EuroTunnel train coming out of the Channel Tunnel, owned by EuroTunnel, on in Coquelles, northern France.

    Despite 16ft razor wire fencing around the tunnel entrance, many migrants attempt to storm the rail tracks on a regular basis. There are three types of trains that use the tunnel: Eurostar, the rail passenger service, Eurotunnel car-carrying trains which do not stop at Calais, and the Eurotunnel freight trains which do. It is the freight trains that the migrants are targeting.

    However, the migrants are going further down the track where the fencing is less secure. The problems is exacerbated by industrial action by French seamen, which has caused trucks to queue to get on the remaining ferries, leading to migrants jumping on the approach roads. There are reports that the migrants are throwing obstacles at moving trucks to get them to stop.

    Related:

    Calais Mayor Calling for Emergency Summit Over Migration Crisis
    Eurotunnel Services Disrupted as Migrant Crisis Continues in French Calais
    UK to Hold Cobra Emergency Meeting on Calais Migrant Crisis Wednesday
    Tags:
    France, chaos, strike, workers, ferry, border checkpoints, border, illegal migrants, migrant crisis, Eurotunnel, European Union, David Cameron, Calais, United Kingdom, Europe
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