Migrant Crisis: U.K. Wants Tighter Border at French Port of Calais

by Reuters / / Source: Reuters

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LONDON — Britain is considering tighter border controls after what Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday were "totally unacceptable" scenes involving migrants climbing aboard U.K.-bound trucks in France.

Television footage on Tuesday showed crowds of migrants trying to board and hide in queuing lorries after traffic was halted through the Channel Tunnel linking Britain and France due to disruption by striking French ferry workers.

Home Secretary Theresa May said "a significant number" of migrants had been intercepted by UK border police and French authorities.

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"We have been looking at whether we can put more personnel and indeed sniffer dog teams on that side of the channel to make a difference," Cameron told parliament.

"There is also more work being done in terms of installing fencing not just around the port at Calais but also around the Eurostar and Eurotunnel entrance," he said.

Cameron said European Union member states needed to work together to tackle the migrant problem at its source in order to "break the link" between getting in a boat to cross the Mediterranean and getting settlement in Europe.

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The mayor of Calais has criticized the British government for not doing enough to fund security in the port, and said Britain needs to overhaul its generous welfare system and improve identity controls she says make it a magnet for illegal immigrants.

Image: Migrants climb in the back of a lorry on a highway leading to the Channel Tunne in Calais, northern France, Tuesday.
Migrants climb in the back of a lorry on a highway leading to the Channel Tunne in Calais, northern France, Tuesday.PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP - Getty Images

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