Home Secretary; Theresa May, said that the issue was a “global migration crisis”; with Mrs May stating that “it is a priority both at a European and international level”. Her words come as ministers in the UK are set to pass a new immigration bill, which will make it easier for councils and landlords to evict failed asylum seekers in the UK and to ensure before migrants are allowed tenancies that their current migratory situation is one of asylum of visa application.
The border crossing between Calais and Folkestone has recently been under great pressure from the large number of hopeful immigrants that attempt to stow away on trains and lorries to enter the UK. Since June, nine have been killed attempting the crossing and around 650 children are needing care from the Kent county council, there are no precise figures on how many migrants in total have accessed the UK through the Calais tunnels. In the year ending March 2015, just over 25,000 asylum applications were received, but the Home Office is unable to provide data as to how many were received internally or external to the UK.
There have been reports of migrants trying to force their way into lorries, cars and caravans as the cars wait due to the delays caused by the scale of security and safety at the channel tunnel entrance. Whilst many suggest that the police in France have not been doing enough to stop the migrants gaining access to the tunnels, their main priority is the safety of motorists on the motorway and of the migrants who try to board vehicles there. Should a tourist, haulier or migrant be injured due to a lack of safety on the motorways, it would make things more difficult for all sides, including the migrants.
Last year, 39,000 separate attempts to cross the border were prevented by the French police, Home Office and Border Force. This year, around 37,000 have been prevented according to Eurotunnel, with the figure set to remain high should the issue remain unresolved. Operation Stack, the term for the tactic used by British Police to hold lorries in 3 sections of the M20 is ongoing as the crisis continues. The tactic is used regularly for short periods of around 12 to 24 hours throughout the year, but its current amount of use is “unprecedented” according to Freight Transport Association.