700 migrants removed from Calais camps as French get tough

Charles Hymas
·2-min read
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More than half of the 1,200 migrants staying at camps in Calais have been removed by the French in a bid to prevent them crossing after pressure from the British Government.

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, and Dan O'Mahoney, the new operational commander, have been urging the French to move the migrants to reception centres well away from Calais because of evidence this persuades them to seek asylum in France.

Mr O’Mahoney told MPs earlier this month: "We have  provided significant investment to the French on reception centres, many of which are quite a long way from Calais, as you would hope.

"We have a good track record when people are moved into those reception centres; they are much more likely to claim asylum in the French system."

Of the 700 cleared from the camps, 500 have been moved to reception centres across France with the remainder “sheltered” in northern France, away from the coast.

It came as 50 migrants took advantage of a drop in the high winds to cross to the UK today, yesterday after a break in the bad weather.

One boat with 13 people - 11 men and two teenage boys - managed to reach UK shores during the early hours and landed on Shakespeare's Beach at Dover in Kent.

Meanwhile, the Home Office deported 11 migrants of Iraqi, Iranian and Kuwaiti descent to Sweden and Finland on a chartered flight, despite last-minute human rights appeals.

A Home Office spokesman said: "Today we have removed a number of migrants who arrived in small boats and had no right to remain in the UK, and returned them to Finland and Sweden. Those who seek asylum can and should claim it in the first safe country they enter.

“We are working to increase the number of returnees countries are willing to accept on each flight and there are more flights planned for the coming weeks and months.”