Britain gives extra £7m for French border migrant crisis

28th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

Britain's interior minister announced Tuesday an extra £7 million ($11 million, 10 million euros) towards improving security at the French end of the Channel tunnel after a mass illegal immigration attempt.

Home Secretary Theresa May made the announcement following talks in London with her French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve, centred on the ongoing migrant crisis in the French port of Calais.

About 2,000 migrants tried to enter Eurotunnel premises in Calais overnight Monday in a desperate bid to reach Britain through the Channel tunnel.

Eurotunnel operates the vehicle shuttles on the undersea rail link.

Britain's £7 million pledge is in addition to the £15 million it has already promised as the migrant crisis around the French northeastern port city continues.

According to the last official count -- at the beginning of July -- around 3,000 migrants, mainly from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and Afghanistan, were camped out in Calais trying to reach Britain illegally.

"The French and UK governments are working in close collaboration on this issue which affects us both," said May following the talks with Cazeneuve.

Intelligence and law enforcement specialists will be posted to combat the "terrible" gangs of people smugglers "making a profit out of human misery".

Britain and France will work together to return migrants, particularly to west Africa, "to ensure that people see that making this journey does not lead to them coming to Europe and being able to settle", she said.

"The UK government will be putting in up to £7 million more to ensure the security of the Eurotunnel railhead" in Calais.

The issue of would-be illegal immigrants converging on Calais has been a thorn in the side of Franco-British relations for years.

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© 2015 AFP

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