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The door in the wall has no locks; Migrants running to board trucks

Great Wall of Calais ‘pointless’

The Great Wall of Calais, erected at a huge cost to keep migrants out of the UK, has been branded "pointless" after it was discovered that doors along it have no locks.

Published: December 15, 2017, 6:54 am

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    The 4m high wall, which cost British taxpayer’s more than 2.6 million euros, was built along a highway that runs into the Port de Calais ferry terminal in France, designed to stop migrants boarding or hijacking trucks leaving for Britain.

    But reporters from the Daily Star newspaper discovered that illegal immigrants can pass through the barrier quite easily. Their investigation has found that doors on the wall can be opened and are not locked.

    It runs for almost a kilometre along the N216 highway, which leads directly into the Port of Calais ferry terminal. The doors were intended to give maintenance workers and law enforcement access on the road, but migrants have also found them convenient.

    Thousands of UK-bound transport vehicles and tourists use the route every year and it has become a magnet for migrants looking to enter Britain by hiding inside vehicles.

    Migrants reportedly told The Star: “They can’t stop us getting on to the lorries… We will always find a way to get to England.”

    An aid worker told the Daily Star: “The wall is totally pointless.”

    According to a British Home Office spokesman: “Security for the wall is a responsibility for the French authorities.”

    The EU adopted the Dublin Regulation for asylum seekers, forcing them to apply in the first European Union member state they enter.

    Because of the rule, Britain has been able to deport thousands of migrants who had already passed through countries in the EU.

    The Regulation has also meant that rejected applications by asylum seekers are enforced EU-wide, but once Brexit kicks in, the Dublin deal no longer applies and every rejected refugee in the EU will have a new country to make their case for asylum: Britain.

    There are no longer any guarantees that the French frontier will stop the flood. President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to renegotiate the Le Touquet agreement, under which Britain does its border checks in France.

    If the deal is scrapped, a two-year countdown begins after which Kent in the UK, faces similar migrant camps to ones that have sprung up in France.

    This week, some 60 migrants were caught trying to board transport trucks as traffic backed up along the highway leading into the port.

    The prefecture of Pas-de-Calais announced that “the police forces are present on the spot to avoid the attempts of intrusion in the trucks, and there are about sixty migrants present”.

    Around 15h30 on Tuesday, the prefecture of Calais had announced in a statement they were “closing exits Nº4 and Nº7 of the interchange 47 which gives access to the port of Calais” due to heavy transport traffic.

    The slowing down of trucks is mainly due to accumulated delays in all cross-Channel traffic, following the bad weather of recent days.

    On the A16 at Coquelles and Calais, since Tuesday morning, two to three kilometers of traffic jams have formed from the Calais Saint-Pierre exit at the access ramp to the Channel Tunnel.

    Not much later, at around 4pm in the afternoon French police were forced to use tear gas to disperse asylum seekers who were trying to climb into trucks along the road.

    Last month, authorities announced that roads leading up to the port would be fortified with additional police officers, better lighting and CCTV systems.

    Calais Prefect Fabien Sudry announced an extra 40 police officers to be deployed to the area as from next week, adding to the 400 already patrolling the area since the close of the Jungle camp in October last year.

    Enhanced lighting will be installed too, to discourage migrants from hiding along the roadside.

    The announcement came after haulage firms and businessmen met with the Calais Prefect complaining that they were “fed up” with migrants ruining their businesses.

    The group, led by David Sagnard, President of the National Federation of Road Transport (FNTR), called on the prefecture to install lighting along where the A16 and A26 roads meet, along with a new CCTV system to monitor the road around the clock.

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    • Locks. Armed guards. And the Will to save ourselves.

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