French minister says UK police should help in Calais

France's interior minister says British police should be sent to Calais to help dissuade would-be illegal immigrants from trying to cross the channel.

There are around 2,500 migrants in Calais and the town's mayor has previously told MPs many are "prepared to die to come to England".

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French minister: UK police should help in Calais

A group of migrants pictured in Calais. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

France's interior minister says British police should be sent to Calais to help dissuade would-be illegal immigrants from trying to cross the channel.

Bernard Cazeneuve told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It would be very useful to have more policemen here, and we try to find a way of being in a common system here concerning police

He said the UK and France had to work together to find a resolution.

We had a hard negotiation between the two governments and I have had a lots of rendezvous with my friend Theresa May in order to find a solution concerning this tremendous problem.

We are both involved in this problem and we have to find common solutions in order to be efficient

– Bernard Cazeneuve

Labour: France 'needs to do more to tackle immigrants'

Shadow immigration minister David Hanson has said France needs to do more to tackle immigrants travelling to Calais.

The Labour MP said immigration was a "Europe-wide problem" but said the French authorities needed to take more action to identify which countries the immigrants were coming from and their circumstances.


Labour: Situation in Calais is 'completely untenable'

The situation in Calais is "completely untenable", David Hanson, Labour's shadow immigration minister has said.

Responding to the Mayor of Calais's appearance before the Home Affairs Select Committee, the MP said the Government should be doing more to tackle the "illegal route" into the UK.

But he said Natacha Bouchart needed to "acknowledge the role the French authorities should be playing to solve this problem".

He said: "If, as she claims, the people camped in Calais are not asylum seekers, why is the French Government not seeking to deport them?

“Of course we should be aiming for a European-wide approach to remove the migrant camp at Calais – there are serious questions about how people are able to cross Europe without being apprehended and end up at the border in the first place?

"But it is not good enough for the Mayor of Calais to seek to wash her hands of this problem and seek to simply move the border to Dover.”

Mayor: Calais has 2,500 immigrants waiting to enter UK

The Mayor of Calais said today that some 2,500 illegal migrants had come to her town with the sole aim of getting to Britain.

Natasha Bouchart told MPs that they were drawn by "a much more favourable benefit regime than in any other country".

Agreeing that Britain was seen as a "soft touch," she said the wanted the problem, and the border, moved back to Britain.

ITV News' International Affairs Editor Rageh Omaar reports from Calais:

Home Office 'working with France on Calais security'

The Home Office said they were working with France to improve security at Calais, and have provided security fences, which should be installed in the next few weeks.

Responding to criticisms from the mayor of Calais, Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said:

We are also working to deliver long term solutions. This includes improving the infrastructure and flow of traffic at Calais in order to reduce the risk of queuing vehicles on the approach roads which are targeted by migrants.

We are increasing joint intelligence work with the French to target the organised crime gangs behind people smuggling and we are working at European and international level to address the wider problem of illegal migration, of which Calais is just one very visible sign.

– James Brokenshire, Immigration Minister

UK system 'makes it easy for immigrants to work illegally'

MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee have asked the mayor of Calais to ask her president to make the benefits system for immigrants in France faster, more effective and less hostile for new claimants.

They said the amount immigrants in the UK are entitled to is lower than France but the system is easier to navigate. She said:

Natacha Bouchart, Mayor of Calais. Credit: .

I'm not advertising (UK benefits), it is the populations that are here in the UK that are advertising it.

It is easy to integrate here - it is the system that makes it easy to work illegally, and the benefits on top of that.

– Natacha Bouchart, Mayor of Calais


Calais migrants believe UK is 'Eldorado fairytale'

MPs are challenging the mayor of Calais on her views that the benefits system in England are "too favourable" for immigrants, and are encouraging others to attempt the dangerous crossing from Calais to Dover.

Natacha Bouchart said those in Calais are speaking to those in England and are hearing that they can easily work illegally, and presenting the UK as an "Eldorado fairytale".

£36 may not seem like much in the UK, but these people do not know that. They come from very poor countries, they do not understand that this is not very much money.

They know from people who do come through, they can easily find work, they can find accommodation and they can get money every week.

The people who have got through, they call them, they say: 'This is Eldorado, we are staying.'

Populations are not checked in the same way in the UK (compared to France). There hasn't been a message from the UK that this is not Eldorado.

– Natacha Bouchart

Calais 'has right to live in peace' from 'violent immigrants'

Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart said the residents of her city have the right to "live in peace" from the threat posed by the immigrant population attempting to enter the UK.

She said recently the migrant population has changed to become more violent, containing a lot more people who have been trafficked into France, and those involved in organised crime. She said:

The spirit in which we have come today is to discuss how to move forward.

We would like to talk to the government to discuss the benefits systems which we view as too attractive, and are encouraging immigrants to make this journey.

– Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart

She also said the criminal gangs in Calais are often linked to gangs within the UK.

Immigrants in Calais 'ready to die to enter England'

The Mayor of Calais, who is facing MPs from the Home Affairs Select Committee said migrants arecausing problems for the citizens of her city, in their determination to enter the UK.

Asked where the migrants are from, she listed the following countries:

  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Sudan
  • Egypt
  • Lebanese
  • Syria
  • Iran
  • Iraq

The mayor stressed that the majority of the migrants did not want to settle in France and rather wished to make the journey to the UK. She said, "people are ready to die to enter England".

Calais mayor: UK conditions 'more favourable' for immigrants

The mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart is appearing before the Home Affairs Select Committee to answer questions on the migrant crisis her city has been facing since the forced closure of makeshift immigrant camps.

She said that approximately 2,000 migrants in Calais are currently trying to get into the UK.

You have a much more favourable regime in Britain than in other countries.

The weekly benefit payments that immigrants would receive each week, [...] is a huge amount if you have nothing.

– Natacha Bouchart, Mayor of Calais
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