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French authorities defend ban on aid 'Convoy to Calais'

The French authorities in Calais have defended their decision to prevent an aid convoy of about 200 vehicles leaving Dover on its way to enter France.

The Pas-de-Calais authorities said they had issued the ban for various reasons including the potential for the convoy to "generate violent episodes"; and a lack of available police officers because of the current European football championships.

They also said the numbers of vehicles involved could "facilitate the intrusion of migrants".

"In these circumstances, the Prefect of Pas-de-Calais considered only the prohibition of any event is likely to effectively prevent public disorders that may occur.

"Moreover, any convoy on roads and highways, from Great Britain to Calais to slow or block the flow and constituting a public event, is prohibited."

Kent Police: French decision to block 'Convoy to Calais' aid groups at Dover

The Kent Police force has responded to complaints about an aid convoy being prevented from leaving the Port of Dover on its way to Calais in France.

The convoy of more than 200 vehicles included teams from groups such as the Stop the War Coalition and the People's Assembly. They were carrying provisions and supplies for people living at the so-called 'jungle' refugee camp near Calais.

Kent Police assisted the Port of Dover Police and French authorities after a convoy containing approximately 200 vehicles were denied entry to France on Saturday 18 June.

The decision to refuse entry was made by the French authorities and no agency within the United Kingdom has any grounds to challenge this decision. The refusal of entry to France is a matter for the French authorities.

Upon being refused entry to France, a demonstration took place at the Port. This started at approximately 1.50pm, which resulted in a brief closure of the border controls.

Kent Police worked with partner agencies to ensure disruption was kept to a minimum and within approximately one hour the port resumed business as usual.

– Kent Police spokesperson

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'Convoy to Calais' refugee aid trip stopped at Dover

An aid convoy of around 250 vehicles has been held at the Port of Dover after French authorities refused them entry to France.

The Convoy to Calais is a coalition of various charities and groups who had planned to travel via ferry to deliver aid to the so-called 'jungle' refugee camp at Calais in France.

People in aid convoy protest at Dover after being turned away Credit: People's Assembly

French minister: Calais migrant camp would come to Kent

A senior French minister triggered a furious political row today by saying the Calais migrant camp will come to Kent if Britain votes to leave the European Union.

Economy minister Emmanuel Macron told the Financial Times that leaving would end the agreement that allows the UK to enforce border controls - and keep unwanted migrants on the French side of the Channel.

It's the first time a French government figure has made such a threat. But it's being branded "scaremongering' by MPs campaigning for the UK to remain in the EU. More from our political correspondent Phil Hornby.

  1. Phil Hornby

The Last Word, March 2016

The economy... security... trade... immigration? What will decide how you vote in the big EU referendum debate this June? Today, another flashpoint: Calais, with the Remain campaign highlighting the French Government's claim that the so-called jungle could move to Kent if we vote Out.

Anneliese Dodds MEP, the Labour euro-MP for south east England and Conor Burns, the Conservative MP for Bournemouth West argue the case for and against. And we meet Arthur, a 102-year-old voter who promises to that on June 23 he will "crawl" to the voting booth, if he has to.

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