Clashes as France tries to clear Calais migrant camps
As demolition teams dismantled the huts of the migrant camp called the 'Jungle' in Calais, clashes broke out with migrants pelting stones. The migrants trying to access trucks heading towards the port of Calais were pushed back by the officials. The migrants have refused to move to official accommodation provided inside converted shipping containers fearing that they will be forced to move to France.
Calais city of France faced a crisis with approximately 1,200 migrants crossing over into the country. The immigrants were mainly from Eritrea, Sudan and Afghanistan; however, there are groups from Somalia, Pakistan and Chad too. Most of these illegal migrants then made the 20-mile final crossing into Britain. Almost 40 people a day, get smuggled through ferries, or trucks that crossed the Eurotunnel.
The UK government pledged a £12m assistance to France to tackle the immigrant situation in Calais. UK also offered France the security fences that were used at the NATO summit in Newport to stop the migrants from coming over. UK's 'fence' gift to France greatly irked the authorities who asked Britain to cooperate or else they would seal the port of Calais.
The worsening migrant crisis at Calais has become a source of tension between UK and France. The crisis escalation has prompted both French and English officials to level the blame on the other for not doing enough to check the exodus. Natacha Bourchart, the mayor of Calais came under serious attack from British ministers when she went to UK to talk about the crisis.
At least 1,500 migrants tried to enter the Channel Tunnel on 28 July 2015, and one man was killed in the process. The death followed a disruption of services on Monday when 2,000 people stormed Eurotunnel's French terminal. The mayor of Calais called for a summit between France and the United Kingdom after the incident to reach a solution.
David Cameron said that he would 'throw' out migrants trying to illegally get into Britain. He blamed the Calais crisis on "a swarm of people" trying to flee north Africa. The Prime Minister's phrasing came under rebuke from the Refugee Council. Cameron vowed to do more to protect Britain's borders. Security fences are being installed and MPs have called for army deployment.
Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham said "Cameron calling Calais migrants a "swarm" is nothing short of disgraceful. Confirms there's no dog-whistle these Bullingdon Boys won't blow."
The French government asked the Calais camp 'Jungle' migrants to leave the area before bulldozers came to clear the tents away. The authorities want the migrants to move away from the motorway and nearby houses for safety reasons. The French government is planning to transfer at least 500 migrants to "converted shipping containers fitted with electricity and heating."