PEOPLE AND PLACES

PEOPLE AND PLACES

Friday, July 24, 2015

Images show how the Calais migrant camp has sprawled to the size of a small town that is now home to some 5,000 refugees

 

 

 

 

'Send gunboats to the Mediterranean': Australian PM warns Europe crisis will not stop until it copies tough stance on people-smugglers

  • Tony Abbott insists tough line on migrants is the only way to stop deaths
  • Said army should be deployed to prevent asylum seekers arriving on land
  • He has ordered Australian military to turn back boats carrying migrants
  • Controversial move has seen near-daily arrivals fall significantly, with no reported deaths at sea off the coast of Australia so far this year

Europe has been urged to copy Australia's military-led 'stop the boats' policy to avoid migrant tragedies in the Mediterranean.

Australian PM Tony Abbott – who sends naval gunboats to turn back asylum seekers before they reach Australia – said the EU should 'urgently' follow his lead.

His hardline policy has proved controversial but Mr Abbott said it was the only way to prevent disasters such as the loss of 900 lives when a fishing boat capsized on Saturday night.

Hardline: Tony Abbott, whose conservative government introduced a military-led operation to turn back boats carrying asylum-seekers before they reach Australia, said harsh measures are the only way to stop deaths

+11

Hardline: Tony Abbott, whose conservative government introduced a military-led operation to turn back boats carrying asylum-seekers before they reach Australia, said harsh measures are the only way to stop deaths

Haunted: A surviving immigrant who escaped the boat that capsized in the Mediterranean Sea killing up to 900 people appears deep in thought as he arrives in the Sicilian port city of Catania this morning

+11

+11

Haunted: Surviving immigrants who escaped the boat that capsized in the Mediterranean Sea killing up to 900 people appear deep in thought as they arrive in the Sicilian port city of Catania yesterday morning

Solemn: A young man, bows his head as he makes the short walk from the rescue boat's deck to the Catania shore where hundreds of people had gathered

+11

Solemn: A young man, bows his head as he makes the short walk from the rescue boat's deck to the Catania shore where hundreds of people had gathered

New life: Members of the Italian Police look on as a migrant who survived the ship sinking off the coast of Libya walks the ramp of an Italian Coast Guard's vessel upon arrival at Catania's port yesterday morning

+11

New life: Members of the Italian Police look on as a migrant who survived the ship sinking off the coast of Libya walks the ramp of an Italian Coast Guard's vessel upon arrival at Catania's port yesterday morning

He said: 'The only way you can stop the deaths is to stop the boats.

'That's why it is so urgent that the countries of Europe adopt very strong policies that will end the people-smuggling trade across the Mediterranean.'

Conservative Mr Abbott won power in 2013 on a 'stop the boats' pledge, and not a single one has breached his ring of steel in 18 months. Operation Sovereign Borders involves the Australian Navy intercepting boats filled with migrants at sea, and either turning them back or towing them back to where they came from.

Mr Abbott has previously said he was sick of being lectured to by the United Nations over Australia's obligations to refugees, saying his policy was the 'most decent, most compassionate' solution.

In the Mediterranean, callous people smugglers have been exploiting a willingness by European nations to rescue migrants rather than send them back.

Last year, Italy scaled back its rescue operations because it feared they were only encouraging migrants to gamble with their lives.

But the horrific loss of life over the past week in a spate of migrant shipwrecks has prompted calls to urgently reinstate the rescue missions. EU leaders including David Cameron are meeting tomorrow in what charities are calling a 'life or death' summit to solve the problem.

Save the Children warned that 2,500 youngsters could die in the Mediterranean this year.

Chief executive Justin Forsyth said: 'EU leaders hold the lives of thousands of desperate people in their hands when they meet.

'With every day that they prevaricate and delay restarting search and rescue operations, the risk grows that more people will die.'

Taken to safety: An unknown survivor of the Mediterranean migrant tragedy is wheeled off an Italian coastguard ship in the Sicilian city of Catania

+11

Taken to safety: An unknown survivor of the Mediterranean migrant tragedy is wheeled off an Italian coastguard ship in the Sicilian city of Catania

Horror: A man carries the body of a dead child onto the Greek island of Rhodes after a boat carrying dozens of people ran aground, killing at least three in one of a number of tragedies involving migrants in recent days

+11

Horror: A man carries the body of a dead child onto the Greek island of Rhodes after a boat carrying dozens of people ran aground, killing at least three in one of a number of tragedies involving migrants in recent days

Chaos: Video footage shows a large, wooden double-masted boat with people packed on board, just metres away from the Greek island of Rhodes in the eastern Mediterranean Sea

+11

Chaos: Video footage shows a large, wooden double-masted boat with people packed on board, just metres away from the Greek island of Rhodes in the eastern Mediterranean Sea

Lucky rescue for migrants stranded on rock at sea in Turkey

AUSTRALIA'S HARDLINE POLICY

Migrant boats approaching Australian waters are turned back by the Navy or sometimes even towed back to where they came from.

Any vessels which manage to get close are taken under naval escort to the Pacific islands of Nauru or Papua New Guinea, where they are detained while migrants' asylum claims are processed. Migrants are then matched with a country that will resettle them.

Those detained on Nauru are sent to Cambodia, which is paid to take them by the Australian government. A similar arrangement exists with Papua New Guinea for those detained there.

Any migrants who actually make it to Australia by sea are automatically blocked from staying – even if they are found to be genuine refugees.

The controversial scheme – which began 18 months ago has been attacked by human rights advocates who say it violates Australia's international obligations.

However the government says it has greatly reduced the number of illegal immigrants arriving on Australian shores.

Yesterday Mr Cameron pledged the UK would 'make a contribution' to search and rescue operations. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said refugees also needed to be persuaded to stay in their home countries in the first place.

'We've got to start in the upstream countries. We've got to deal with the traffickers,' he said, adding he 'absolutely' supported a 'more formidable operation on the sea'.

Ed Miliband said the Government's policy of 'leaving people to drown' had been 'wrong'. The Labour leader said: 'Frankly I think it is a stain on Europe to have these things happening.

'We've got to act on search and rescue, and that is about basic humanity and I think that people all around the country will recognise this.' London Mayor Boris Johnson said Britain had a 'moral duty' to do more. 'I think it is an absolute tragedy and obviously we must do whatever we can to help the humanitarian response,' he said.

One of the architects of Australia's tough border policies, retired Army Major-General Jim Molan, said European leaders were guilty of 'incompetence'.

Mr Molan said the tragedies were 'worsened by Europe's refusal to learn from its own mistakes and from the efforts of others who have handled similar problems'.

In the Mediterranean, the tide of human misery has only worsened. Saturday's disaster was the most catastrophic in a series of migrant shipwrecks that have claimed more than 1,700 lives this year – 30 times higher than the same period in 2014. In the past week alone, more than 1,000 have died.

Border chiefs have warned that one million migrants are waiting to set sail off the coast of Libya, with the need for drastic action to address the crisis greater than ever before. Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has warned of a 'genocide' and said: 'Europe will be judged harshly for its inaction.'

+11

Rescue: A woman is laid to the ground after being rescued by Greek men as she tried to reach Europe aboard a wooden boat which ran aground on the island of Rhodes, killing three people 

+11

Rescue: A woman is laid to the ground after being rescued by Greek men as she tried to reach Europe aboard a wooden boat which ran aground on the island of Rhodes, killing three people

Saved: Three people died after a boat carrying dozens of migrants ran aground on the Greek island of Rhodes

+11

Saved: Three people died after a boat carrying dozens of migrants ran aground on the Greek island of Rhodes

Infra-red camera shows rescuers trying to locate survivors

UP TO 1,000 FEARED DEAD AFTER WEEKEND OF WORST MARITIME DISASTERS FOR DECADES

Sunday morning: Italian coastguard responds to migrant ship after it capsizes off the coast of Libya with 700 passengers unaccounted for

Sunday afternoon: Passengers accounts of the ship say as many as 950 people may have been on board with 300 locked in the hull.

Another boat is rescued off Sicily carrying 100 Syrian refugees. They are all brought to safety

Monday morning: A boat runs aground on the Greek holiday island of Rhodes killing a man, woman and child

Monday afternoon: Italian and Milanese coastguards respond to two distress calls off the coast of Libya from boats thought to be carrying up to 400 people.

EU heads of state call for urgent action to ease the migrant crisis with an emergency summit called for later in the week

Monday at midnight: The surviving passengers of the Libyan boat arrive in Catania, Sicily. Among them is the crew's Tunisian captain and his Syrian crew member.

Both were arrested and charged with 'favouring illegal immigration'.

The captain was additionally charged with multiple manslaughter.

 

Australia begins controversial policy of processing asylum seekers AT SEA: New rules mean migrants are dealt with without ever setting foot on land

A group of Vietnamese asylum seekers sailing to Australia were rejected before they had even reached land - thanks to a new immigation policy Down Under.

But the screening of immigrants while they were at sea was condemned by the United Nations, which said they should be properly assessed on land.

Until now, Australia has forced boat migrants to live in detention centres across the Pacific in Nauru and Papua New Guinea while their claims are processed.

Scroll down for video

The Australian navy ship HMAS Choules transported the Vietnamese immigrants back to Vietnam this month

+4

The Australian navy ship HMAS Choules transported the Vietnamese immigrants back to Vietnam this month

The latest policy of not allowing migrants to disembark anywhere came to light a day after Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott urged Europe to adopt his tough immigration policies.

He claimed these would stop the boat-loads of migrants currently making their way across the Mediterranean from Africa.

According to the UN's refugee agency UNHCR, the group of 46 Vietnamese migrants set sail to Australia in March.

They were detected by the Australian navy earlier this month and assessed at sea. All of them were rejected and transported back to Vietnam on the navy's landing vessel HMAS Choules.

The two-week mission by the navy vessel, pictured in Sydney harbour last year, is thought to have cost £1.5m

The two-week mission by the navy vessel, pictured in Sydney harbour last year, is thought to have cost £1.5m

The migrants were offloaded in the port city of Vung Tau, south of Ho Chi Minh City, last Friday, according to Australia's ABC News.

The two-week mission by HMAS Choules is said to have cost the navy around £1.5million. 

The Australian government today refused to comment on 'operation matters'.

But the Opposition accused Mr Abbott's Liberal Party of a 'new low' with regards to the secrecy surrounding what happens to asylum seekers.

Boat migrants found and rescued in the Mediterranean yesterday  are taken to the Italian port of Salerno by an Italian navy ship (pictured). So far this week the crossing has claimed the lives of 1,700 asylum seekers

+4

Boat migrants found and rescued in the Mediterranean yesterday are taken to the Italian port of Salerno by an Italian navy ship (pictured). So far this week the crossing has claimed the lives of 1,700 asylum seekers

Rescued migrants picked up by another Italian navy ship yesterday line up after disembarking in Sicily

+4

Rescued migrants picked up by another Italian navy ship yesterday line up after disembarking in Sicily

Tough stance: Australia's PM Tony Abbott this week

+4

Tough stance: Australia's PM Tony Abbott this week

The operation was also criticised by UNHCR. Its spokeswoman Vivian Tan said: 'We're concerned that people may not have had access to proper procedures.

'We are concerned that the group wasn't screened and assessed in a way that's fair and effective, that somehow their lives may be at risk.'

And Phil Robertson of the international campaign group Human Rights Watch echoed those concerns, saying: 'I think that probably these people had no access to counsel or [were not] able to prepare their case.

'And certainly they had no access to appeal.'

Yesterday Mr Abbott lectured Europe on how to deal with the migrant-boat crisis in the Mediterranean.

This week alone, the perilous crossing from Africa has claimed 1,700 lives. The captain of one boat, Mohammed Ali Malek, 27, was charged with multiple manslaughter after his vessel capsized on Monday, claiming the lives of up to 900 people.

Yesterday new images were released of Italian navy vessels rescuing more asylum seekers and taking them to Italian ports.

Mr Abbott told European leaders on Tuesday: 'The only way you can stop the deaths is to stop the boats.'

He won power in 2013 on his pledge to stop immigrants entering Australia by sea. Their vessels are now turned away or towed back - and occupants are sent to the Pacific detention centres. There is also a guarantee that they will never be able to live in Australia.

In the last 18 months, not a single boat has breached the country's ring of steel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images show how the Calais migrant camp has sprawled to the size of a small town that is now home to some 5,000 refugees (and even has its own farm, mosque and shop)

  • Up to 150 migrants arriving each day at shanty town – dubbed the 'New Jungle' – before trying to sneak into Britain
  • Refugees use camp as springboard to launch dangerous bids to jump on truck and trains, sparking travel mayhem

These remarkable aerial photographs show how the Calais migrant camp has ballooned to the size of a small town that is now home to some 5,000 refugees. 

Up to 150 migrants are arriving each day at the controversial shanty town – dubbed the 'New Jungle' – before trying to sneak into Britain.

The tented community is now so established in the dunes just outside the French port that the migrants even have their own shops, churches, mosques and a farm. 

Many use the camp as a springboard for launching dangerous attempts to reach the UK by jumping onto lorries and Eurotunnel trains which have sparked a summer of travel misery for British holidaymakers.

Scroll down for video 

Sprawling: An aerial view tented migrant camp dubbed the 'New Jungle' which is now understood to be home to some 5,000 migrants

+12

Sprawling: An aerial view tented migrant camp dubbed the 'New Jungle' which is now understood to be home to some 5,000 migrants

Staging post: Up to 150 migrants are arriving each day at the shanty town in the dunes outside Calais before trying to sneak into Britain

+12

Staging post: Up to 150 migrants are arriving each day at the shanty town in the dunes outside Calais before trying to sneak into Britain

Making themselves at home: The tented community is now so established the migrants have their own shops, churches, mosques and a farm

+12

Making themselves at home: The tented community is now so established the migrants have their own shops, churches, mosques and a farm

Many are using the camp as a springboard for launching dangerous attempts to reach the UK by jumping onto lorries and Eurotunnel trains

+12

Many are using the camp as a springboard for launching dangerous attempts to reach the UK by jumping onto lorries and Eurotunnel trains

The camp – which is also known as 'Jungle Two' – has been branded an 'intolerable humanitarian scandal' and a 'government-sanctioned slum' by activist groups.

The migrants moved to the dunes after they were kicked out of their former camp, called the Jungle.

State authorities pushed them away from the city to the wasteland next to the Jules Ferry centre, which was renovated with a £3million EU grant to shelter women migrants.

It also now provides food and shower facilities for the thousands of men who have set up camp nearby.

The 'town' – estimated population 5,000 – already boasts three shops, selling essentials such as tinned food, fizzy drinks and washing up liquid (and with someone else's supermarket trolleys outside)

+12

The 'town' – estimated population 5,000 – already boasts three shops, selling essentials such as tinned food, fizzy drinks and washing up liquid (and with someone else's supermarket trolleys outside)

In response to criticism about the conditions, France has vowed to spend £360,000 improving the camp, which lies near the English Channel

+12

In response to criticism about the conditions, France has vowed to spend £360,000 improving the camp, which lies near the English Channel

Solace: Christians mainly from Eritrea have built this church in the 'New Jungle' migrant camp in Calais after fleeing their native country

+12

Solace: Christians mainly from Eritrea have built this church in the 'New Jungle' migrant camp in Calais after fleeing their native country

A mosque which has been built in the Calais migrant camp. The new town, recently described by aid workers as ‘the worst in Europe – if not the world’, is seen as a ‘tolerated zone’ by the French authorities

+12

A mosque which has been built in the Calais migrant camp. The new town, recently described by aid workers as 'the worst in Europe – if not the world', is seen as a 'tolerated zone' by the French authorities

The migrant camp is just a few hundred metres from the ferry and Eurotunnel terminals, giving them prime position to try to sneak into Britain

+12

The migrant camp is just a few hundred metres from the ferry and Eurotunnel terminals, giving them prime position to try to sneak into Britain

Between 50 and 150 migrants are said to be arriving in Calais every day as increasing numbers make their way to Europe across the Mediterranean. 

Many living in the New Jungle camp have fled conflicts in Syria, Libya and sub-Saharan Africa, while others have arrived by land, often travelling from places like Afghanistan via the Balkans. 

The new town, also recently described by aid workers as 'the worst in Europe – if not the world', is seen as a 'tolerated zone' by the French authorities. 

 

The migrants hope to gain entry to the Britain, just 21 miles away across the English Channel, but in May, French police destroyed their camp and told the migrants to go elsewhere. And so they moved... across the street

+12

The migrants hope to gain entry to the Britain, just 21 miles away across the English Channel, but in May, French police destroyed their camp and told the migrants to go elsewhere. And so they moved... across the street

Slum: The new town,  described by aid workers as 'the worst in Europe – if not the world', is seen as a 'tolerated zone' by the French authorities

+12

Slum: The new town, described by aid workers as 'the worst in Europe – if not the world', is seen as a 'tolerated zone' by the French authorities

Many living in the camp made the perilous boat crossing across the Mediterranean, having fled conflicts in Syria, Libya and sub-Saharan Africa

+12

Many living in the camp made the perilous boat crossing across the Mediterranean, having fled conflicts in Syria, Libya and sub-Saharan Africa

In response to the criticism about the conditions by the UN and other aid groups, France has vowed to spend €500,000 (£360,000) improving the camp, which lies close to the English Channel.

News of the makeover provoked a furious response earlier this year from France's former employment minister Xavier Bertrand, who blamed Britain's 'black jobs market' for attracting thousands of migrants to Calais.

He said: 'This means the English – and here is the hypocrisy – have a cheap labour market because illegal immigrants are paid so much less.'

'If Mr Cameron wants to hold a debate about the European Union, he should first stop this hypocrisy.

'It's not an 'a la carte' EU where you can choose only the bits of it you want...We need to say very clearly to people who arrive in Europe that there are no more jobs or welfare benefits here.'

 

Calais' thin blue line: Helpless French police are over-run as hundreds more migrants storm Channel Tunnel declaring 'it's England or death' - so when will Cameron finally take action?

  • Demands growing for Britain to send in Army to help with Calais chaos as migrants continue to besiege Calais
  • For the third night running, migrants tried to storm the Channel Tunnel where French authorities have 'lost control'
  • David Cameron today blamed the crisis at Calais on the 'swarm of people' crossing the Mediterranean
  • It comes after a Sudanese man was killed in the chaos early on Wednesday morning after being crushed by a truck
  • Senior Tory MP Andrew Percy said: 'It is time we considered more radical options, including the use of the Army'

David Cameron was today accused of failing to get a grip on the Calais crisis and leaving it to the ill-equipped French as panicked Gendarmerie were again overwhelmed by hundreds of desperate migrants who laid siege to the Channel Tunnel for the third night running.

Around 4,000 people have stormed fences and desperately tried to clamber on trains bound for Kent in the past three days - a deadly gamble that has allowed at least 150 to get to Britain but also claimed the lives of nine people.

The deepening crisis has led to 120 French riot police being called up to help the 250 uniformed officers already there but critics say that this is nowhere near enough and believe David Cameron must now send British troops.

Migrants are still easily breaching the 15 mile fence surrounding the Channel Tunnel and jumping on to moving high speed trains or trying to get in or under lorries queuing to get on trains. Outside others will try to clamber on to vehicles heading to the nearby ferry port.

Senior MPs, backed by hauliers, have demanded the British Army should be sent in to restore order because the French authorities had 'lost control', David Cameron today blamed the crisis at Calais on the 'swarm of people' crossing the Mediterranean, and backed the French to deal with it.

But Labour's shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the Prime Minister's attempts at diplomacy with the French government 'isn't working' and added: 'Still not enough is being done to stop a difficult situation becoming desperate'.

Scroll down for video

Losing battle: Two heavily outnumber French police try to stop a migrant trying to get to the Channel Tunnel as critics demanded the Prime Minister get a grip on the situation

+40

Losing battle: Two heavily outnumber French police try to stop a migrant trying to get to the Channel Tunnel as critics demanded the Prime Minister get a grip on the situation

Gang mentality: The migrants are overwhelming police as they rush the Channel Tunnel in huge numbers as they desperately try to board trains

+40

Gang mentality: The migrants are overwhelming police as they rush the Channel Tunnel in huge numbers as they desperately try to board trains

Overwhelmed: A panicked French policeman watched in despair as huge numbers of men and women rush past as they try to get access to the Channel Tunnel

+40

Overwhelmed: A panicked French policeman watched in despair as huge numbers of men and women rush past as they try to get access to the Channel Tunnel

 

Trespassing: Using clothes tied together to clamber up a fence this man managed to pull himself up and over through a gap in barbed wire

Breach: Migrants climb over a flimsy fence near train tracks as they join hundreds of others attempting to access the Channel Tunnel near Calais yesterday

+40

Breach: Migrants climb over a flimsy fence near train tracks as they join hundreds of others attempting to access the Channel Tunnel near Calais yesterday

A graphic showing how the migrant camp in Calais, northern France, is just a few hundred metres from the ferry and Eurotunnel terminals, giving asylum seekers prime position to try to sneak across into Britai

+40

A graphic showing how the migrant camp in Calais, northern France, is just a few hundred metres from the ferry and Eurotunnel terminals, giving asylum seekers prime position to try to sneak across into Britai

Speaking in Vietnam this morning the Prime Minister vowed to do 'everything we can' to stop people's holidays been disrupted by the chaos, adding: 'This is very testing, I accept that, because you have got a swarm of people coming across the Mediterranean, seeking a better life, wanting to come to Britain because Britain has got jobs, it's got a growing economy, it's an incredible place to live.

'But we need to protect our borders by working hand in glove with our neighbours the French and that is exactly what we are doing.'

Ukip leader Nigel Farage said he would 'not use language like that' after Mr Cameron described the migrants as a 'swarm' and condemned the Prime Minister's 'warm words'.

He told MailOnline: 'I am so used to everything being too little, too late from him. I need to see how we are going to stop 150 estimated illegal immigrants coming in every single night.

'And how is he going to change the process where only one in four of those who are caught are ever sent back?

'In five years of Tory government, none of this has improved. Words are fine but what is he actually going to do?'

'The Prime Minister is this morning trying to sound tough, whether he means it or not is another question.'

Earlier Mr Farage said on Good Morning Britain : 'A couple of times I've been stuck on the motorway surrounded by swarms of potential migrants to Britain'

On BBC Radio 4, asked about Cameron describing migrants as a 'swarm', Farage said: 'I'm not seeking to use language like that.' 

Labour's shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the Prime Minister's attempts at diplomacy with the French government 'isn't working'.

She added: 'Still not enough is being done to stop a difficult situation becoming desperate.

'We need far more action from the French Government to assess people arriving in France, to prevent people reaching Calais in the first place and to police the roads where lorries are targets.

'And that means British ministers need to be putting on maximum diplomatic pressure and working closely to get the response from France and other European countries'.

Last night a gang of around 400 migrants stormed the Tunnel perimeter - taking the total to almost 4,000 who got on to the tracks since Monday night - and at least 150 are known to have made it to Britain.

Meanwhile there is mayhem on the British side of the Channel with thousands of lorries backed up in Kent queuing in Operation Stack. For 24 of the past 40 days, the coast-bound side of the M20 has been closed bringing misery to residents, businesses and holidaymakers.

As he faces major criticism of his handling of the crisis, speaking in Vietnam the Prime Minister said he was working to improve border security as well as deporting more illegal immigrants who manage to cross the Channel.

He said: 'This is very testing, I accept that. You have got a swarm of people coming across the Mediterranean, seeking a better life, wanting to come to Britain because Britain has got jobs, it's got a growing economy, it's an incredible place to live.

'But we need to protect our borders by working hand in glove with our neighbours the French and that is exactly what we are doing.' 

Migrants break through fences at Eurotunnel entrance in Calais

 
Home Secretary Theresa May called for an urgent security review, following a meeting of the Cobra civil contingency committee as migrants stormed Calais

Enforcement: Home Secretary Theresa May called for an urgent security review, following a meeting of the Cobra civil contingency committee as migrants stormed Calais

Incursion: Migrants have admitted they are willing to die to get to Britain as this man  leaps from the top of the fence to try to get close to the trains

+40

Incursion: Migrants have admitted they are willing to die to get to Britain as this man  leaps from the top of the fence to try to get close to the trains

Night attempt: A gang look for gaps or weak points in the fencing as they try to get to the UK with some saying they accept it's 'England or death'

+40

Night attempt: A gang look for gaps or weak points in the fencing as they try to get to the UK with some saying they accept it's 'England or death'

 

Stand-off: Migrants clash with French police last night as a new attempt was made to rush to Tunnel, although in the past month nine people have been killed attempting to cross the Channel

PM SLAMMED OVER 'SWARM' ROW

David Cameron was today accused of 'dog-whistle' politics after describing hundreds of migrants in Calais as a 'swarm'.

The Prime Minister blamed the crisis on a 'swarm of people coming across the Mediterranean, seeking a better life, wanting to come to Britain.

In response, Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham wrote on Twitter: 'Cameron calling Calais migrants a 'swarm' is nothing short of disgraceful.

'Confirms there's no dog-whistle these Bullingdon Boys won't blow.'

Ukip leader Nigel Farage also tried to distance himself from the term, suggesting it was part of an effort by Mr Cameron to appear 'tough' on immigration.

Asked if he would use the word 'swarm', Mr Farage told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'No. No, I'm not seeking to use language like that.

'The Prime Minister is this morning trying to sound tough. Whether he actually means it or not is quite a separate question.'

But barely an hour earlier, Mr Farage had used the term himself, telling ITV's Good Morning Britain: 'A couple of times I've been stuck on the motorway surrounded by swarms of potential migrants to Britain.'

The Refugee Council described Mr Cameron's remark as 'awful, dehumanising language from a world leader'.

It comes as one migrant - a Sudanese man in his 20s or early 30s - slipped as he tried to get underneath a train inside the high-security zone surrounding the undersea link in the early hours of yesterday morning when 1,500 attempted to get across.

On Monday night, more than 2,000 illegal immigrants tried to break through the Tunnel entrance, prompting an urgent security review which saw more than 120 police officers drafted in to secure the terminals.

Yesterday, Home Secretary Theresa May admitted for the first time that illegal migrants were getting into Britain.

Labour MP Keith Vaz said that during one visit to Kent he had seen 148 migrants 'delighted' to have made it to the UK. On a day of drama:

  • Eurotunnel said it had intercepted a staggering 37,000 migrants and was being subjected to 'systematic invasions'
  • The M20 in Kent was once again turned into a lorry park, delaying holidaymakers heading for France
  • Hauliers warned of huge losses to exports and increases in food prices
  • As David Cameron used his Far East trip to preach against slave labour, the French said the migrant crisis was caused by foreigners coming to work in appalling conditions in Britain's black economy.

A French policeman patrolling the motorway near the Eurotunnel terminal said yesterday: 'We are completely overwhelmed. It just gets worse and worse.

'At the Channel Tunnel terminal all we can do is pick them up and then drop them off a few hundred metres away. We can't lock them up.'  

Tory MP Andrew Percy said last night: 'The situation is now clearly out of control and it is clear that the current arrangements are not working and that the French are unable to guard against these infringements of our border.

'It is time we considered more radical options, including the use of the Army. The British people expect our border to be secure and the Government must do whatever it takes to achieve this.'

Former immigration minister Damian Green said the UK government had resisted the temptation to criticise the French because they could tear up the agreement which means the border is on French soil.

He told MailOnline: 'In the end it's happening in France so the French have to be the effective authority. I think the British government has taken the no-doubt sensible decision that just shouting at the French may not achieve anything.

'The single biggest protection we have is our border is in France. If the French took that away we would be seeing those scenes in Kent - although the situation is terrible at the moment it could be much worse.'

The MP for Ashford added: 'The French appear to be getting the point that this can't carry on.

'They clearly have the capacity to protect the terminal if they have got the will to do so. Having said they are going to send more riot police in, we will know over the next couple of days whether they mean it or not.'

Rush: Police chase a group through a ditch and across a dual carriageway as they fail to keep control of the situation in Calais

+40

Rush: Police chase a group through a ditch and across a dual carriageway as they fail to keep control of the situation in Calais

Overwhelmed: A police officer watches helplessly as a group of migrants trying to reach the Channel Tunnel sprint past him

+40

Overwhelmed: A police officer watches helplessly as a group of migrants trying to reach the Channel Tunnel sprint past him

Brazen: A migrant crawls through a hole in a fence near near train tracks as he attempts to access the Channel Tunnel in Frethun, near Calais, France, hours after another migrant died while trying to get across

+40

Brazen: A migrant crawls through a hole in a fence near near train tracks as he attempts to access the Channel Tunnel in Frethun, near Calais, France, hours after another migrant died while trying to get across

Bold: A migrant crawls through a tiny gap as dusk falls over Calais, before a perilous walk along a railway track to reach the Tunnel 

+40

Bold: A migrant crawls through a tiny gap as dusk falls over Calais, before a perilous walk along a railway track to reach the Tunnel

A migrant makes his way through the tiny gap He follows other people with hopes of crossing into the UK

A migrant makes his way through the tiny gap (left) to follow other people with hopes of crossing into the UK (right) despite security being stepped up

Migrants cover their faces and pull up their hoods as they enter the Channel Tunnel terminust through a hole in a fence at Calais Freuthan

+40

Migrants cover their faces and pull up their hoods as they enter the Channel Tunnel terminust through a hole in a fence at Calais Freuthan

Officers: France has sent in an extra 120 police officers to secure the terminals as Eurotunnel revealed it had now blocked more than 37,000 such attempts since January 

+40

Officers: France has sent in an extra 120 police officers to secure the terminals as Eurotunnel revealed it had now blocked more than 37,000 such attempts since January

Migrants who made it past the Channel Tunnel security fences at Calais yesterday head for the tunnel entrance to try to board a train to Britain. It came as MPs claimed the UK needed to send the Army in to help

+40

Migrants who made it past the Channel Tunnel security fences at Calais yesterday head for the tunnel entrance to try to board a train to Britain. It came as MPs claimed the UK needed to send the Army in to help

Desperate: Women wrapped in scarves scramble over the fence before they try to catch a train to reach England, in Calais, France, yesterday

+40

Desperate: Women wrapped in scarves scramble over the fence before they try to catch a train to reach England, in Calais, France, yesterday

Migrants walk on a road outside the Eurotunnel in Calais  as the authorities struggle to contain the situation

+40

Migrants walk on a road outside the Eurotunnel in Calais as the authorities struggle to contain the situation

At least 2,200 illegal migrants have so far tried to storm the Channel Tunnel in a bid to reach Britain from France. These migrants were seen walking along tracks at the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais on Tuesday

+40

At least 2,200 illegal migrants have so far tried to storm the Channel Tunnel in a bid to reach Britain from France. These migrants were seen walking along tracks at the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais on Tuesday

The UK and France working together on immigration chaos

 

As the Port of Dover said the disruption at Calais was costing the UK £250million a day in lost trade, the Road Haulage Association said the French army should be deployed, with support from the British.

Prime Minister David Cameron has refused to 'point fingers of blame' at the French authorities after another 1,500 illegal immigrants stormed the Tunnel

+40

Prime Minister David Cameron has refused to 'point fingers of blame' at the French authorities after another 1,500 illegal immigrants stormed the Tunnel

Chief executive Richard Burnett said: 'It has become clear that the French authorities in Calais simply cannot cope. This has become an untenable situation.'

Sir Gerald Howarth, a former defence minister, said: 'If we have another episode like we had last night, the authorities will have to consider closing the Tunnel. If we need to close it, we should close it. We can't go on like this.'

The Tory MP added: 'This crisis and immigration in general will dominate the EU referendum. We must take back control of immigration.'

There was also growing fury in Westminster at the inadequate response of the French, who MPs accuse of ushering the migrants towards the UK.

Former minister Tim Loughton said the French were 'culpable' for allowing migrants to storm the Tunnel in order to 'make a European problem a British problem'.

He told the BBC: 'There is no advantage and no justification for the French to allow 5,000 people with little grounds for being in the UK to gather at Calais. And when they are detained for trying to get in the Tunnel, they are let go two miles out of the town so they can try again and again and again.

'The situation is not going to improve while that nonsense carries on.'

But despite the rising anger among Tory backbenchers, Mr Cameron and Home Secretary Mrs May refused to criticise the French Government.

They are afraid that the Hollande Government might rip up treaties which allow the UK to carry out border checks on French soil.

In Vietnam, Mr Cameron – who ordered a meeting of the emergency COBRA committee yesterday after being shocked by the coverage of the chaos unfolding in Calais – advised against 'trying to point fingers of blame'.

Senior Whitehall sources last night played down prospect of the Army being deployed in either France or the UK. Instead, contingency plans are focusing on trying to ease the pressure on the M20, which had 3,600 lorries queuing on it yesterday.

The Home Office is working with the French authorities to send more of the West African migrants massed at Calais back home. This could include the use of joint removal flights. Mrs May refused to say how many migrants had entered the UK, but conceded: 'A number of people have come through. We will be dealing with anybody's asylum claim in the normal way as we always do.'

When asked if the military should be used, she said: 'This is about ensuring we get that security fencing up, it's about working with Eurotunnel to ensure we have got the best measures in place.'

France said last night it was sending extra police officers to Calais.

Police have said the mayhem on the M20 in Kent is likely to continue into the weekend, providing no respite for those who live and work in the county. Businesses in the area are estimated to be losing £1.5million a day

+40

Police have said the mayhem on the M20 in Kent is likely to continue into the weekend, providing no respite for those who live and work in the county. Businesses in the area are estimated to be losing £1.5million a day

Lorries were backed up again yesterday after plans to introduce a contraflow system to ease the burden on the county were ruled out because of safety fears. There were around 3,600 lorries caught up last night alone

+40

Lorries were backed up again yesterday after plans to introduce a contraflow system to ease the burden on the county were ruled out because of safety fears. There were around 3,600 lorries caught up last night alone

Flimsy fences that are no barrier: Men, woman and children simply pull themselves through mesh on to the train tracks to begin perilous walk to Channel Tunnel

These flimsy mesh fences – flapping in the evening breeze with gaping holes cut in them – are all that stands between migrants in Calais and passage to the UK.

Behind the supposed security barriers, which are similar to the surrounds of a municipal tennis court, are the Eurotunnel trains the migrants try to stow away on.

Last night, as dusk fell on the railway line, astonishing scenes unfolded. First, young men and then women and children simply pulled themselves through the railside defences and on to the ballast of the tracks.

+40

Breach: Migrants break through a fence near train tracks as they attempt to access the Channel Tunnel near Calais yesterday

A Sudanese man, in his 20s or early 30s, slipped as he tried to get underneath a train inside the high-security zone surrounding the undersea link in the early hours. Pictured, migrants scale the fence

+40

A Sudanese man, in his 20s or early 30s, slipped as he tried to get underneath a train inside the high-security zone surrounding the undersea link in the early hours. Pictured, migrants scale the fence

French Gendarmerie watch as migrants cross through the flimsy fences and onto the railway as freight trains and car shuttles lumber by

+40

French Gendarmerie watch as migrants cross through the flimsy fences and onto the railway as freight trains and car shuttles lumber by

From there, they face a perilous walk to the Channel Tunnel and their chance of a new life in Britain. The dangers to lives are obvious as freight trains and car shuttles lumber by.

Police union spokesman Gilles Debove said: 'They have nothing to lose – they have travelled thousands of kilometres and they are ready to die on the last stretch if necessary.'

This week the migrants' efforts have reached new levels: two mass assaults in two nights have seen more than 3,500 try to storm the tunnel. At least one migrant, a Sudanese man in his 20s, died – crushed under the wheels of a truck.

The hole in the fence close to the small village of Frethun is clearly well used. There is evidence that it has been repaired a number of times with wire and clips and a beaten path shows the way. But no sooner do security guards close it up, it is ripped open by the wandering gangs.

Each night migrants walk, hitchhike and even cycle from their camps in Calais to the port, or to the Tunnel entrance, where they try to board lorries on trains.

Extra riot police were drafted in to Calais yesterday, but officers said they were fighting a losing battle.

A group of migrants brazenly walk on the railway, bypassing an old carriage, as they make their final bid for freedom into the UK

+40

A group of migrants brazenly walk on the railway, bypassing an old carriage, as they make their final bid for freedom into the UK

Eurotunnel revealed it had now blocked more than 37,000 such attempts by migrants (some pictured making their way along train tracks near Calais) since January

+40

Eurotunnel revealed it had now blocked more than 37,000 such attempts by migrants (some pictured making their way along train tracks near Calais) since January

A second man is believed to have suffered horrifying burns after being electrocuted as tried to get on to the roof of a London-bound Eurostar train at the Gare du Nord in Paris. Pictured, migrants walk along a railway track in Calais

+40

A second man is believed to have suffered horrifying burns after being electrocuted as tried to get on to the roof of a London-bound Eurostar train at the Gare du Nord in Paris. Pictured, migrants walk along a railway track in Calais

There have now been eleven deaths in less than two months, as increasingly desperate migrants (some pictured in Coquelles) take more risks to get to Britain

+40

There have now been eleven deaths in less than two months, as increasingly desperate migrants (some pictured in Coquelles) take more risks to get to Britain

British lorry driver Les Muffett, 56, from Witham, Essex, told how he saw a group of migrants waiting to storm the Channel Tunnel when he arrived in France.

'They were walking around like passengers. It was crazy. It's the first time I've seen that. It's scary because we don't know what will happen. A friend of mine was sitting in the queue and they cut his lorry open and got in. You can't confront them. They carry knives. All you can do is stay in the lorry, lock the cab up and let them get on with it.'

The death of the Sudanese man takes the grim total to 11 in less than two months. Most have been killed after climbing on the top of trains, walking along busy motorways, or falling into water.

More than 5,000 migrants are thought to be living in desperate conditions in camps in Calais. They live in tents and shacks on a 40-acre stretch of industrial wasteland three miles from Calais port.

State authorities pushed them away from the city to the wasteland, seen as a 'tolerated zone', and it has grown considerably in recent weeks. Some of the better houses have heavy-duty locks and chains on the doors. Others are simply sticks covered in tarpaulin.

Despite the grim conditions, many have tried to brighten their temporary homes with flower displays, pictures, mirrors and paintings.

There are several mosques, and a church is being built. There are also shops selling sweets, drinks, snacks and cleaning products. Those who are not trying their luck getting to Britain sit around playing cards or football.

A migrant helps another man through the small gap in the fence in the hope they will be able to cross over into Britain for asylum

+40

A migrant helps another man through the small gap in the fence in the hope they will be able to cross over into Britain for asylum

There are currently some 5,000 illegal migrants in the French port and they seem to be using any opportunity they can to get to the UK

+40

There are currently some 5,000 illegal migrants in the French port and they seem to be using any opportunity they can to get to the UK

Eurotunnel said that since the arrival of migrants in the area around Calais, it has in physical resources - fences, cameras, infra-red detectors - and personnel

+40

Eurotunnel said that since the arrival of migrants in the area around Calais, it has in physical resources - fences, cameras, infra-red detectors - and personnel

One Afghan migrant has even opened a café. The man, who would not be named, was living in the UK but decided to travel to the French camp, he told the BBC.

He speaks seven languages and has lived in Norway, Italy and the UK. 'Now I want to stay here, because of the restaurant', he said.

The man said the camp's residents were 'people, humans – not animals' and proudly displayed anti-racism messages outside his café.

Last night, residents of the camp pledged to continue their efforts to reach the UK. 'We are determined to get to England, nothing will stop us,' said Gez Ariam, a 19-year-old Eritrean. 'We've travelled thousands of miles – this last stretch of sea won't stand in our way.

'The journey to Britain can be a dangerous one, but it is our only hope. We want new lives in a good country that cares about people like us. Our route across the sea is either on ferries, or via the Tunnel trains. These are our options, and we have to take them.'

Mo Farouk, another resident said: 'The security can be hard to deal with, but we are brave and not scared of the risks.' He said he paid £2,000 in cash for a passage from his home in Eritrea, through Libya and Italy, and then on to France.

'England is where I want to be, and that's where I'll claim asylum,' said Farouk, adding: 'If I am sent back to my own country, I will be killed.' Christian Salome, president of L'Auberge des Migrants, a group that provides food and other supplies in the camp, said getting to the UK was 'just a matter of time'.

'All of them get there in the end,' he said. 'No fence is too difficult – in the end, borders are there to be crossed.'

Businesses of all sizes in Kent have united to call for the issue to be dealt with quickly as they struggle to receive supplies and welcome visitors following Operation Stack (pictured, lorries queued on the M20)

+40

Businesses of all sizes in Kent have united to call for the issue to be dealt with quickly as they struggle to receive supplies and welcome visitors following Operation Stack (pictured, lorries queued on the M20)

Kent County Council estimates the impact on the county's economy is around £1.5 million a day, and that there needs to be intervention from government and Highways England

+40

Kent County Council estimates the impact on the county's economy is around £1.5 million a day, and that there needs to be intervention from government and Highways England

 

 

 

 

   

No comments: