Richard Ashworth Conservative MEP for Dover has backed the Home Secretary Theresa May proposal, which will see the creation of “secure-zones” for British-bound lorries at Calais, to stop vehicles being targeted by illegal immigrants.
“Some people may think it strange that the British Government is creating secure zones on French soil. However, it is obvious that the way forward is for the two, or 28, nations to work together to deal with a problem that has ramifications across Europe. However my priority is to protect British freight travelling to Calais or inward bound.”
“The secure zones will make it much more difficult for migrants to stow away on stationary lorries and this is very welcome.”
Referring to continued industrial action by trade unions in Calais, which as a result has seen unprecedented chaos to and from the French port, Richard Ashworth MEP said:
“There is an obligation on the French government to ensure the free movement cross border. While the right to strike must be a matter for French law, but, being on strike does not entitle those workers to obstruct a public highway, and French authorities must do more to keep the cross border traffic flowing.”
The French authorities must do more to secure the crossing into the United Kingdom, “the French have a responsibility to manage illegal migrants in their territory. In other words not to run a transit camp but to register and process all migrants”.
Richard Ashworth MEP has also called for a stronger response by European police forces to confront the criminal gangs of people traffickers, “there needs to be recognition by the 28 member states that the current legislation is not fit for purpose”.
The new secure zone proposed by the government will be able to absorb up to two and a half miles of queues, in a bid to avoid a repeat of scenes at the end of last month involving thousands of migrants trying to break into lorries. The secure zone will provide a secure waiting area for 230 vehicles – the equivalent of removing a two-and-a-half mile queue from the approaching road.