French Police Fire Tear Gas at Hundreds of Migrants Trying to Jump onto UK-Bound Trucks After a Night of Rioting
Peter Allen, Daily Mail, January 21, 2016
Hundred of migrants clashed with French police in Calais today while trying to jump on trucks bound for Britain.
Riot officers used tear gas and baton charges to break up around 300 refugees gathering near the Eurotunnel entrance.
It came after hundreds of UK-bound migrants were involved in rioting last night as they fought with police trying to destroy their makeshift homes the so-called ‘Jungle’ refugee camp.
Tear gas and baton charges were used by officers as they tried to restore order next to the so-called ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in the port town.
It came after the Pas de Calais prefecture handed the migrants an ultimatum to get out of a stretch of the Jungle before it was demolished.
A police spokesman said: ‘Up to 300 migrants were involved, and they became extremely violent.
‘There was more than an hour of fighting before the situation finally calmed down at around 10pm.’
The deadline comes this afternoon.
If they do not move on, they will be forcibly evicted, according to the terms of the official order.
Bulldozers moved in this week to clear sections of the Jungle, which currently contains more than 5,000 people who want to start a new life in Britain.
The prefecture has proposed giving those displaced priority in new containers opened a week ago to shelter up to 1,500 migrants, but thousands more will have nowhere to go.
Many of the migrants view the makeshift containers–which contain electricity plugs and heating–as prisons and want to stay in their tents and bivouacs.
Some migrants have began blocking the port road or throwing stones to slow down UK-bound traffic so they can jump aboard.
Police fear there will be more trouble as the attempts to evict the migrants intensify.
It came as British MPs and HGV drivers warned that EU plans to force Britain to accept 90,000 refugees in the next year as part a quota will make Calais ‘even more of a magnet’ to migrants.
There has been widespread fury at the plans from Brussels but a failure to agree a quota could see the UK denied the right to deport asylum seekers to their country of arrival.
Number 10 last night vowed to fight the proposal, which is a major blow to David Cameron’s EU referendum ambitions.
The European Commission wants a new quota system under which member states share out the estimated 1.3million people expected to arrive in Europe this year.
Britain, which would be expected to take around 90,000, has been warned that–if it refuses–it will lose its right to send home migrants who should have made their claims elsewhere.
MPs and hauliers warned this would make Calais even more of a magnet for asylum seekers. Richard Burnett of the Road Haulage Association said: ‘The floodgates would open.
‘The migrants that are already there don’t want to be in France, they want to get to the UK, and this would just make the problem far far worse.’
Tory backbencher Peter Bone said: ‘This is absolutely absurd. It is typical of the European Union to want to change the rules to penalise Britain.’