Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Migrants Target UK Bound Road Haulage Trucks from a Variety of European Ports

As Brexit Vote Looms Concerns Voiced Over Possible Entry Points
Shipping News Feature
UK – EUROPE – As the referendum as to Britain’s status in Europe approaches, and arguments for and against ‘Brexit’ become more animated, with threats and assurance in equal numbers from either side, the concern over the migrant situation continues. This week, as road haulage representatives identify new jumping off points in France for immigrants heading to the UK, an EU Commissioner revealed worries that Ireland was likely to enable the hordes fleeing mainland Europe to enter Britain by the ‘back door’.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has indicated that, as pressure on migrants in Calais increases with the dismantling of the ‘Jungle’ camp and an increased police presence, the migrants are moving to a variety of French and Belgian ports where security is not as strict. Dieppe came in for special mention after a report from RHA member Neville Dale of David Dale Removals who uses the Dieppe – Newhaven route and who commented:

“Once again I am gob-smacked! They are everywhere. I have seen them scaling the fence at Dieppe. Just to make it even more difficult, we are now not allowed to park in the Port of Dieppe after leaving the ferry late at night. We now have to run outside of the port to park up and then you are wide open to them.”

This of course leaves the trailers parked up as an easy target for would be stowaways and CEO of the RHA Richard Burnett observed:

“It is apparent that migrant activity is growing as the weather improves and our predictions that an increase in security at Calais would simply push migrants further afield has become a reality. It also appears that Dieppe, about half-way between Calais and Le Havre, is becoming the new migrant magnet. Instances of human traffickers using other French ports is also increasing.

“This and other reports we are now receiving clearly show that the migrant situation is far from under control. It is essential that security, regardless of the size of the French port in question must be increased. The lives of hauliers remain under threat and the issue must be tackled. If this does not happen, and quickly, the whole situation is in real danger of spiralling out of control.”

In Ireland EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, said there were concerns that, should the UK exit the EU, the Republic’s border with Northern Ireland could become a crossing point targeted by the migrants. The Commissioner talked of ‘fortress Northern Ireland and a fortress Britain’ with ‘Dundalk becoming the new Calais’.

The border between the divided island is, as history has shown, almost unenforceable, and Hogan said that situation was bound to change in the light of a British exit at the risk of it remaining an easy route for would be migrants. He continued:

“The fear in Dublin is that our border towns would become a backdoor into the UK. In that instance what sort of fortress would the Northern Ireland border have to become to close that backdoor?”

The Commissioner of course is an ardent advocate of keeping the union with the UK as it is, and he went on to direct comments at the North’s farming community which, he claimed, relies on EU subsidies to the extent that 87% of the regions farm incomes emanate from Brussels.

Photo: Riot police clearing the Jungle camp.