Calais: Border Management — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:44 pm on 24th June 2015.

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Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Home Department 3:44 pm, 24th June 2015

To answer the first question, the Home Secretary has spoken to Monsieur Cazeneuve about the safety of British and other travellers travelling to the UK. There is a promise to provide extra resources during this time to help secure vehicles. It is a very fast-moving and difficult situation, as has already been mentioned.

As to the effect on the number of people arriving into the UK, the juxtaposed controls, which are at the heart of this and were actually introduced by the previous Labour Government, have worked very well in Calais, Dunkirk and Coquelles. They are staffed by a pool of about 800 Border Force officers based in France. It is estimated that, in the past year, 40,000 people have been stopped travelling into the UK. The message to take from yesterday is very clear: the UK border was not breached. There was significant disruption for travellers and freight vehicles as a result of the action, particularly for those using the tunnel, but we do not anticipate that having a direct effect on the numbers entering the UK.