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 Full text 
Tuesday, 4 October 2016 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Situation in Calais (debate)

  Richard Ashworth (ECR). – Mr President, the British border has been on French soil since the Treaty of Le Touquet in 2003. It is that agreement which gave rise to the Calais jungle, and that migrant camp for over 10 years has been getting steadily bigger, steadily more desperate and steadily more violent.

Both the British Government and the French Government have got a duty to ensure safe passage for all legitimate cross-Channel traffic, to forcefully uphold national immigration policies and to provide all necessary humanitarian aid.

But there are dangers. First, that in tightening border controls we just displace the problem elsewhere or, we force migrants into ever more desperate measures, such a small boats. And second, in addressing the situation locally, we lose sight of the bigger global problem.

We welcome the Commission’s help and support with the problem, but I urge them to remember that migrants all over the world are the consequence of the widening gap between the world’s rich nations and the world’s poor nations, and of climate change and violence. In addressing migration, therefore, we must understand the importance of directing our efforts to the cause, not just to the symptoms.

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