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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Calais: Deterrence alone not solution

Image taken during Jean's visit to Calais migrant camp, June 2


After a week in which the situation in Calais continues to make headline news, Green MEP puts forward strong proposals to help solve situation, without scapegoating.

Jean, who is London’s Green MEP said today:

‘The problem in Calais cannot be solved by action in Calais alone. A range of wider actions is needed and a new, expensive high fence isn’t the answer.

‘People are trying to escape conflict and oppressive regimes so it’s not a problem that will subside any time soon, making short-term responses on deterrence alone is deeply flawed, it’s not working.

‘What needs to happen is the UK should speed-up passage through the tunnel by increasing the number of people working on passport and other checks, helping to reduce delays. As regards the ferry-workers industrial action, which has triggered the latest actions, the French authorities need to work with management and unions over what action is permissible and to ensure security at the Tunnel.

‘Most urgently, France needs to work with the Red Cross or other agencies to establish a night-time as well as daytime centre, so that asylum claims can be lodged. The French authorities can be much more proactive about this.

‘Such centres, grounded on humane treatment increases the possibilities to disrupt, contain and potentially convict the organised crime element which is growing at Calais. Desperate people take desperate measures and this means that they are easily exploited.

‘The UK and France could co-operate on processing of asylum claims of those at Calais so that family or other links to the UK are honoured.’

Jean concluded:

‘Some polls are showing that people want out of Europe because of the scenes we are seeing in Calais, but leaving the EU won’t solve this problem.’