Clearing Calais Jungle camp -a step in the right direction - says FTA

Thursday 25 February 2016

Responding to a court ruling in favour of the French Government’s plan to clear part of the Calais migrant camp known as the ‘Jungle’ has been described as a step in the right direction, but not the complete solution – by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) today.

A court in Lille ruled this afternoon that the eviction of the camp was legal.

The Jungle Camp is home to around 5,000 migrants - the majority of which are reportedly looking to cross the Channel to reach Britain. FTA members have reported an increase in violence and unrest with migrants attacking lorries and drivers on a daily basis, with many stating that they are advising their drivers to avoid stopping in areas on the approach to the port and Eurotunnel.

Problems caused by the camp throughout the summer of 2015 highlighted the impact of the surge of migrants – 150 a day, arriving at the French port and how that affected the UK economy and beyond.

FTA’s Head of European Policy – Pauline Bastidon, said: “FTA welcomes the decision to start clearing the Jungle camp in Calais. We appreciate the need for careful consideration – as the clearance of the camp could be seen as violating the fundamental rights of the migrants. However, considerations should also be given to the rights of our members to go about their work without fear of violence or intimidation.

“Disruption caused in part by migrant activity last year cost the UK freight industry an estimated £750,000 a day, and we do not want to see that situation repeated. £89 billion worth of UK trade passes through the port every year so it’s crucial that a solution is found as a matter of urgency.”

FTA acknowledged the progress made in recent months to increase security with fencing around the Calais area, but is urging the French and UK authorities to progress in the completion of secure truck parking facilities and the registration of migrants as a matter of urgency.

Ms Bastidon added: “FTA would like to avoid the emergence of a Calais situation elsewhere in Europe, with similar migrant camps emerging in other ports. While this is being seen as a local issue in the Calais region – it has pan-European consequences.”
FTA Press Office
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