Calais migrant crisis: UK-French centre to tackle traffickers

The UK and France have announced new measures to prevent "undocumented migrants" entering the Channel Tunnel by tackling the criminals who smuggle them to Calais and across the Channel.

The plans include the creation of a joint police operation aimed at tackling the people-smugglers who profit from the desperation of those trying to reach British shores.

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UN urges 'civil emergency' plan for Calais migrants

Migrants climb through a fence on to the tracks near the Eurotunnel site at Coquelles in Calais. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive

The United Nations has called on France to introduce a "civil emergency" plan to deal with the thousands of migrants camping in Calais in the hope of reaching Britain.

Vincent Cochetel, head of the UN refugee agency's Europe division, called for an "urgent" response to the crisis - which has so far seen nine people die during the attempted crossing.

He also called on Europe to "wake up" to the wider crisis across the continent, referencing the struggle faced by Greece in dealing with the huge number of people arriving on its shores via the Mediterranean Sea.

The warning comes amid reports the British government is considering the "nuclear option" of closing the Channel Tunnel overnight in a bid to prevent people from trying to enter.

A Sudanese man was arrested at the Folkestone end of the tunnel on Tuesday after allegedly walking almost its entire 31-mile length in a bid to get to the UK.

UKIP 'neither wants or needs Manston to become a lorry park'

UKIP have released a joint statement from Nigel Farage and Chris Wells, the Leader of Thanet district Council, in response to the announcement that Manston airport would be used to ease traffic congestion.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage issues joint statement opposing plan for Manston. Credit: Reuters

UKIP neither wants nor needs the Ramsgate area, including Manston, to become a lorry park.

This is a simplistic and short term approach to the ongoing crisis in Calais and Dover.

UKIP-controlled Thanet District Council is only interested in getting lorries moving so that business can flourish, not simply transferring the parking problem from Dover into the neighbouring districts.

– UKIP Statement

Minister confirms Manston will be used to ease M20 backlog

Manston airport will be used to ease congestion on M20 Credit: Google Maps

The government has confirmed that the disused Manston Airport in Kent will be used as an emergency lorry park to ease traffic backlogs caused by the growing number of migrants attempting to get to Britain from Calais.

Transport Minister Lord Ahmad said: "By using Manston Airfield we have secured an interim solution while we work to find a longer term resolution."

The Department for Transport said the agreement will enable Kent County Council, Highways England and Kent Police to use the site temporarily.

It said the priority was to keep traffic and goods moving and ensure people on both sides of the Channel could go about their lives normally.


Operation Stack: Kent airport to be used as a lorry park

File photo dated 01/04/14 of Manston Airport in Kent, Credit: PA

A regional airport is to be used as an emergency lorry park when Operation Stack is in place, to help ease traffic in Kent caused by delays in Calais, ITV News understands.

It will be officially announced that the mothballed Manston Airport in Kent will be used as an emergency lorry park as part of a temporary alternative to vehicles queuing on the M20 as part of Operation Stack.

France and Britain to lead robust approach to migrants

Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond has today chaired an emergency Cobra meeting to discuss the migrant crisis.

Speaking to journalists afterwards, he said France and Britain are determined to work together to lead the campaign in Europe for a more robust approach to returning migrants to their countries of origin.

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